Monday, 8 March 2021

Lesson 3 - Look with Your Heart

So, how is March treating you so far?  Have you made yourself a peanut butter sandwich yet?  Remember, this month we are taking the time to learn some lessons from children.  Today I want us to learn from them how to look at life and everything about life.  

We all know the saying that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, meaning that how we look at something determines if it is beautiful to us.  However, children do not even think about this concept, they are totally unaware of this phrase.  Children have the ability to look with their hearts.  They can do this because their hearts and minds are unblemished by preconceptions and judgements.  They look at life, at people and daily events with open minds, ready to be wonderfully entertained.  They look at every thing and everybody with special eyes, and therefore everything which happens is special to them.

I often just sit and watch my grandchildren at play.  I never tire of watching them.  When my youngest one got hold of a cookie the other day, I watched with fascination how she delighted in this rather plain and bland cookie.  Her gaze was fixated on it.  She gripped it with her little fingers and turned it around, studying it from every angle.  She tasted it, sucked it and removed it again.  She examined its sogginess with undivided attention, and bounced up and down on her derriere with glee.  She loved that cookie.  In fact her pure enjoyment made me regret that I had declined the offer of such a delicious morsel.
This brings back memories of my youngest daughter.  Years ago we were in a waiting room with a host of other people.  She was about two years old.  In the corner opposite my chair sat an old woman with an extremely grumpy face.  In fact, I found her a little scary and the other people in the room avoided sitting in the chairs closest to her.  Not my daughter.  Soon after we had settled on our seats she started making eye contact with the old woman who at first ignored her.  Of course, it is very difficult to avoid a smiling, curly-haired cherub staring at you, and before long the lady was playing hide and seek with her.  To my daughter's delight she fashioned some origami creatures out of an old newspaper. Soon three more toddlers joined her. The hour of waiting passed by in a wink.

What was the reason for this? Did the old angry looking woman miraculously transform?  Did she turn into a kindly granny?  No, she did not.  What happened was that these children had all looked at this old woman with special eyes.  They did not see the haggard look, her scuffed shoes, the battle scars or the bitterness. They looked with their hearts and saw something which had evaded the adults in the room.  They looked past all of society's barriers and taboos, past the exterior and straight into the heart.  Nothing about the woman had changed, but the way we looked at her did.  As I sat there, I suddenly saw the pain in her eyes, and I noticed the hands that had been worked into callouses.   I saw a person, not unlike the rest of us, who had the same fears and heartaches, the same hopes and prayers as all the rest of us.  That day my daughter had taught me to look with gentle eyes at the people around me.

Let us all learn to look with our hearts and not with judgement or intolerance.  The world is full of people who are too much in a hurry to really look, to really take note of their fellow human beings.  Let us make a decision that we will be different, because that is the only way we can make a difference.

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