Look and See

Updated: Jan 6, 2020

Seeing and looking are two different things.

Allow me to unpack that statement a little. Actually, I believe I need to unpack it a lot.

Looking, if you are a sighted person, is the practice of getting a perspective or an understanding of what is around you. It is recognizing an object, person, place or thing. That is a person. That is a place. That is a tree. That is a house. That is a dog.

Seeing is the art of delving into the true essence of what you are looking at. That is a wonderful, caring mother. That is a beautiful island with welcoming, happy natives. But, it’s not just about adjectives. It's about really understanding what you are looking at on a deeper, real level. Lets over-simplify that. You just had a bad morning, received some bad news, or experienced a loss. You walk into work and you are greeted by your co-worker. He says, “Hey how’s it going?“ and like any good, red-blooded American you say, “Fine. You?” And they say they are fine also, and the two of you get on with your day. Now let’s say your co-worker really sees you. Maybe they say, “Hey man, I can tell you’re not yourself today. Is everything ok?”He really sees you and he connected with you and he’s showing up for you.

We all get so busy in our lives sometimes we, myself included, even avoid those people who always have a long answer when you inquire how they are doing. Maybe they are lonely. Maybe they have no one to talk to. What the world needs is more seeing and more connection. My challenge to you is to try to really see people as they are and truly show up for them.

To really paint the picture, I want to give you a few more examples. My two year old grandson and my son were visiting the other night and my grandson started being uncharacteristically naughty. He just wasn't listening when we told him not to do something. My son stopped him and asked him what he needed. Then he said, "Whenever he gets naughty I feel like he needs something." My son really sees his son. He knows his character and his personality and he recognizes his needs. He shows up for him. I couldn't be more proud of father he is.

I used to call my mom and talk to her on an almost daily basis when she was still with us. There were many many times when something was bothering me and I wouldn't want to tell her because I didn't want her to worry or whatever. So many times my mom would ask me "What's the matter? You don't seem as happy as usual." Now all of those times I thought I was being my normal self. My mom could really see me, even over the phone. My daughter and I have had conversations just like this and when I hear her heavy sigh and she says, "Ugh , why do you have to know me so well?" I know I really see her and show up for her too. In today's technology-laden world this gets a little trickier, but if you pay attention and really look hard you can still tell when someone is a bit off.

What the world needs now is more people who look and see each other, We need to take the time to connect so we can show up for each other and lift each other up, up, up!

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