16 May 2015

How many pairs of eyes do you want?

This is the twenty ninth article in a series I am writing for the JEANS section of 'The Nation'.  The series is for children. Adults consider yourselves warned...you might re-discover a child within you! Scroll down for other articles in this series. 

Wise people say that the honest look into the eyes of the people they talk to.  Maybe that’s because you can convey a lot of things with your eyes. 

Even if someone were absolutely silent, you probably would be able to ‘read’ anger, joy, surprise, discomfort, disinterest or a host of other things in that person’s eyes. The same can be said of the reverse.  Just as you can read what’s going through someone’s mine or what someone is feeling just by looking into his/her eyes, that person can also read you. 

Not all people give away what they are feeling with their eyes.  Some are good at blank expressions.  It’s like a brick wall.  You can’t really imagine what’s behind it.  There are people like that.  But most people can’t help it; even if they want to suppress what they feel their eyes will betray them. 

But this is not about reading eyes.  It is about seeing with someone else’s eyes.  No, we are not talking about eye-transplants in case you wondered.  The thing is that different people see things differently. 

Do an experiment.  Gather a bunch of friends.  Show them something.  Let’s say a part of a garden or that part of the sky between two building or between two trees.  Now ask them to quickly write down what they see.   Give them each about two minutes, one to look and one to write it down.  They can write anything they like.  For example, what they consider to be the most prominent thing, say a bush or a tree or the flowers or their color.  They could also write how the leaves moved in the breeze.  No restrictions.  All they have to do is to write.  If it’s the sky you want them to look at you can say ‘write about the clouds or the colors’.   

Once they are done, you can collect their answers and read them all out.  You’ll immediately find that they have come up with different descriptions of what they saw.  People are like that.  They all have eyes but they don’t see things the same way. 

And it’s not just about objects or places.  It is about things that happen as well.  You might see things one way and be angry about it but someone else might not see anything wrong at all. A third person might actually be happy about what happened.  That’s not enough reason to be angry or upset with someone else.  It could very well be that the particular person had seen things differently.  Indeed, if you took the trouble to talk to that person (maybe then and there or better still much later) you might find that he or she was not being stupid or bad or mean (as you might have thought earlier). 

They might not return the favor.  Maybe no one wants to know your story, why you did this or why you did that, what made you angry or sad or happy.  That’s ok.  It doesn’t mean you should not try to see things from that persons eyes, that persons ‘point of view’. 


Actually just knowing that there are many ways of seeing is itself interesting, don’t you think? And if you have patience and if you can get someone to show you how that person sees things, it would be like you having two pairs of eyes.  How exciting is that!  

Other articles in this series

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2 comments:

සෙන්නා said...

Many thanks Malinda. These words of yours indeed shows me that how stupid i am.

Why posting a comment in this blog is so complicated ? It should be free and easy.

thanks
Senna

Anonymous said...

Very interesting. Eyes are one physical part of the body .When light and object meets eyes do see .The analysis of the object is done by the mind.And the collection of data stored within oneself about the object plus level of approval/disapproval for it describes different ways by individuals.

Thought borne mainly associating bloodstream in the heart . Therefore will be contributing to replenish the dead cells of the body (here in eyes if we say ) soft thought will lead to have that kind of cells which will see as kind /innocent /tender eyes ...

Something to think.This is what I felt.