“What we see depends mainly on what we look for.” ~John Lubbock
Have you ever noticed how as human beings, we tend to go negative?
Looking out into the world, we see the crumpled fast food bag in the street and the torn curtain in the window.
Looking into the mirror, we see the pores and dark circles under our eyes. We see the freckles and miss the dimple, or we hate the dimple and miss the smile.
Our eyes focus in on what’s wrong.
I’ve noticed it’s hard to undo this tendency in myself, though sometimes the veil drops suddenly, and I can see the beauty of the world around me.
Many years ago, a friend and I made a three-day visit to the Polish city where we were to live for a year while we taught English.
Arriving on the train, I was struck by the torn metal siding in the station and the crumbling rust of the ancient stair railings; as we walked along the sidewalk, how the entire city seemed one blocky stamped-out Soviet-era apartment building after the next.
Neither of us spoke, but I felt sure my roommate’s thoughts mirrored my own: This was where we were going to live? This worn foot sole of a town was going to be our home for a year?
Just as my mind headed in the direction of I don’t think I can…