I used to have perfect vision. In fact, at one time, I had better than perfect vision… 20/10. But, as time went by, my vision began to fade. First my reading vision and up close vision, then my distance vision, and now I need to wear glasses with progressive lenses in order for my vision to be 20/20.
But, the truth is that true 20/20 vision has nothing to do with sight and everything to do with seeing.
I’ve been thinking about all the people I encounter in any given day and what possibly lies behind the various facades they present. If I knew what was really going on in their lives, the things they were coping with, would I see them differently? Would I interact with them differently?
The short answer is yes.
So, my goal is to treat people as if I already know those answers. I want to give people the benefit of the doubt more, to go out of my way for others more, to be more compassionate in general. To hopefully add a bit of joy to someone’s day that they might not have experienced otherwise.
It has been said, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”
Sometimes we don’t see that because we’re too caught up in a hard battle of our own. But, far more often, I think we just forget that everyone has a back-story. We’re not the only ones.
I’ve found it somewhat amazing what happens when I take the time to really see, and to let it change how I interact with people. People’s defenses come down and many times, they volunteer part of their back-story unprompted. When people sense you care, I find they will tell you most anything. I always feel privileged when people confide in me. It helps sharpen my vision.
Of course, there are always people who make it extra difficult to see past the walls they’ve put up. Often, they’re angrier, more confrontational, more in your face. To be honest, I’m not always successful at being as kind and patient and compassionate as I would like in those instances but I’m working on it. Personally, I think people with the biggest walls need kindness more than most.
I have to remember that I may never know the difference I made in someone’s life, or even in their day. There are people who have touched my life who would be very surprised to know it. I also need to remember that I may end up making a difference in the life I least expect to. All reasons to be consistent in how I treat people.
20/20 vision is a choice. And I don’t mean Lasik.
It’s simply three words
“Be kind anyway”.