Seeing

strawberry

They say that drawing is about the ability to see the details before being able to put them on a canvas. But very often we are going so fast through our days that we might not take enough time to see the beauty of the things around us. This way, a strawberry becomes an object empty of content, viewed entirely from the perspective of supporting one's life and not as something being there to diversify experience. Whether it wants to give us a hug or not becomes secondary, because we learned to perceive and interact with that object in a certain rule-conforming way. By viewing objects of the same type similarly, we lose our ability to find what is special about them. Birds become just birds, no matter if they have beautiful plumage, sing well or make noise playing with the leaves of the tree. We start to see people not as who they really are, but as a version of a person we knew in the past, who acts or thinks similarly to them. We claim to know everyone simply by evaluating how they look, behave or do in IQ tests. Recruiters look at a high-profile university degree or rich history of past jobs and quickly assume that a person must be a top candidate. They too often tend to judge people from a single, short interview, despite not having the slightest clue of who they really are. Sometimes they even tell us straight how much we are worth, based on a piece of paper they couldn't find time to read through. Looking for desired characteristics makes them unable to see and experience their entirety. Should a candidate leave, they are baffled for not knowing how to fit this in a profile.

In cases like these, our knowledge of the world so far and the angle through which we saw things before is already affecting our ability to not just look, but see. It becomes much easier to look through things, to put them in a mental drawer and to move forward than it is to really see. The “I've seen that before”-mentality makes us look passive, instead of actively seeing through the lens of our inner curiosity. This way we are robbing ourselves of our emotions, which could have strengthened our ability to face trouble. The point in time at which we stop questioning and start relying on assumptions is when we stop seeing. It is then only through an outside impact that we can start to notice what we miss. It is our task to associate with people that allow us to see more from life and experience the unexpected dimensions of it, so that we are able to see both wide and deep.

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