“What we see depends mainly on what we look for.” John Lubbock
We often confine ourselves to see only what our eyes reflect. Case and point, this afternoon as my two-year old daughter and I were carting our way through the grocery store, my precious little girl pointed at a man and said “I don’t like that guy daddy; he’s scary.” I was quite taken back by this and decided we had reached a teachable moment in her life. We had a very quick conversation on how we don’t judge people by how they look.
I get it and I certainly realize that she is just two years old, but I don’t care how old you are; we have all done it. We have all thought it to ourselves. We have all judged a book by its cover. What causes us to see only what the eye reflects? Why can’t we train ourselves to see with our hearts?
What do you see when you look at me? Actually, don’t answer that right now : ). Allow me once to give you a look see at who I really am, and maybe not what your eyes reflect. First of all, most of you probably see me as a professional, a superintendent. Possibly a motivator, and inspirationalist, somebody that appears to have life in order. Maybe you see me as a loving father and amazing husband. This is what your eyes might reflect.
The reflection you see is just an ounce of me. Just like everyone else, I struggle with many things. I’m not a perfect dad or a perfect husband. Often times, I consume myself with so much of my work that my family has to take a back seat. Because I’m able to hold my patience in at school, I often let it out at home. When it comes to parenting and being a loving husband I have lots of work to do. On the positive side of this though sometimes in order to get where we want to get, we need to first realize where we are at.
But the type of husband and the kind of parent I am is just an ounce of me. As a child going through school I was bullied. I was emotionally and physically abused. My looks were far from perfect. In fact I was as skinny as a toothpick and people had fun at my expense. The thing that I was able to fall back on and find comfort in was basketball. Actually, basketball got me through my school years.
Also as a student and throughout life for that matter I have struggled with anxiety. I worry constantly. I worry about money, weight, family, etc. I worry about it all. It has to be hereditary and I’m sorry mom, but I have to blame you : ).
My student life and anxiety are just fractions of who I am. I could continue to give you a glimpse into my life, but now your eyes are not just reflecting a physical presence. Hopefully you are starting to see with your heart. What if we trained ourselves to see with our hearts and not just our eyes? You can be a blog writer and write inspirational posts but struggle on a personal level to practice what you preach. You could be a super-model, but worry about your looks. You could be a millionaire, but worry about money. You could be smart, but worry about your grades. We could go on and on here.
As we head into the Christmas Holiday, I challenge each of you to open your hearts and not just your eyes. Every single one of us is fighting some battle. I don’t care how much money someone has or doesn’t have. I don’t care what a person looks like, how many kids they have, and the kind of car they drive. I don’t care what job a person has. We all are fighting battles inside us. If we open our hearts and not just our eyes we might be able to help somebody through them.
A specific challenge to educators. See not with just your eyes, but also your hearts. Every child is worth your heart’s reflection. What we see with our eyes can blind us from reality, but what we see with our hearts reflects the truth. A straight “A” student with fancy clothes and a nice ride, might just be the student that needs you the most. Open your heart this holiday season.
As for you. It is okay to be you. It is okay to struggle. You are not alone. The people you perceive as perfect are actually quite imperfect. Concentrate on being the best you. Even though you are struggling, you can bounce back from it. You have the ability to change the world. You have the ability to transform yourself from ordinary to extraordinary. Here is a poem for you. I’m not a poet. But as long as I’ve given you a glimpse at the real me, I might as well just throw myself out there a bit more.
The Best Me
They want me to be what they see
But that isn’t the way I ought to be.
They call me names and pick on me
But that isn’t the way it ought to be.
I never get picked by he or she
But that isn’t the way it ought to be.
I’ll never be perfect you see
And that is perfectly fine with me.
I’ll just be the best me
And that’s the way I ought to be.