Awe and Acceptance; Looking Through Different Lenses

It seems that most all of us could use a new pair of glasses!

The lenses we have in place no longer provide clear, joyful images which enable us to stand in awe. They've become cloudy and scratched over time by resentment and judgment. Under these conditions, with our sight so badly obstructed, it's hard to appreciate the majesty of our surroundings and magnificence of one another. A vision checkup is in order.

Mother took me to a local optometrist when I was twelve years old. My complaints about poor vision were met with some doubt due to the fact that my best friend had just gotten some glasses. She figured that I wanted a pair to be like him. Dr. Harry Janoff's assurance that my eyes were pretty weak did little to convince her of my need. It wasn't until we were driving home, with me wearing the new specs, that she became a believer.

I looked out at the passing countryside and wondered aloud if everyone was was able to see leaves on trees without being close to them. Mom had to pull the car over to wipe away her tears. Her apologies to me were begrudgingly accepted, but my well deserved vindication paled in comparison to the wondrous details of the new world around me.

If we do take the step of getting that new pair of glasses, we will become overwhelmed with a desire for inspection and introspection. The way we look at things and how we see ourselves will be dramatically changed. There probably will come a tendency to be critical of the way things were in the past and we must be cautious in applying our newfound perspective in hindsight. The world today is quite different than it was fifty or one hundred years ago. As my 1969 high school reunion comes closer, that fact becomes clearer by the moment. We were a fun bunch of mischievous kids but what was tolerated by adults back then might be fodder for news reports today.

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The new lenses we wear will open up a world which must be received not only by embracing the grandeur but should be mixed with a spirit of acceptance. A physician who struggled with drug and alcohol use became a contributor to the Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book. His writing has been a touchstone of recovery for countless people. At the end of his story, he wrote saying; "I must keep my magic magnifying mind on my acceptance and off my expectations, for my serenity is directly proportional to my level of acceptance."

The appreciation of our oneness and desire to make the world a better place should never be hampered by becoming caught up in condemnation of how things used to be. Our ‘magic magnifying minds’ will take over once again. For the new pair of glasses will have become cloudy and scratched by the same judgment and resentment which ruined the last pair. We must become accepting seers who understand the lessons of history, embrace the present moment and who have great hope for the future.