blinders, new lenses & a shiny red Volvo

Watched a poignant video this week… (and no, I refer not to professional golfer John Rahm being told he had tested positive for COVID-19 even though asymptomatic but after leading the PGA’s  Memorial tournament by 6 strokes at the end of the third day — which means he was forced to withdraw only 18 holes from a potential $1,674,000 winner’s payout. That was more painful than poignant…)

A young business professional sets off to start the day. He exits the house, shuts the door, well dressed for whatever the workday entails. 

He rushes down the steps, heads to his car, quickly jumping in, putting the car in reverse and backing out of the drive. He narrowly misses maybe a 9 year old boy going behind him on his skateboard. He hits the brake in disgust, shaking his head, when we hear him think, “That kid. Every time I’m pulling out, he’s right there. Man, somebody needs to talk to his parents… IF they’re ever home.”

The gentleman resumes his commute, soon coming to a stop due to significant congestion. “What is with the traffic today? Always, everyday. This intersection’s always crowded! I hate pulling out of here… these dumb roads.”

He passes the intersection — and more traffic — and soon spots an open, desirable parking space. At the last minute, a shiny red Volvo pulls in ahead of him. Scoffing, no doubt, we hear him again, talking to himself. “Ok, so I’m not even here. Right! Great, lady — the ‘Princess of Parking.’ Sure, take the spot.” He then glares at her vehicle on the way past. “Way to be considerate.”

Now, though, it’s time to at least grab some caffeine prior to office arrival. He opens the door to the local cafe, but is immediately repulsed once more when he sees the line of people before him. “Are you kidding me?!*^$&! Unbelievable.” This time it’s almost as if his disgust is said out loud.

4.2 minutes later he has made his way to the front of the line. “It’s about time,” he thinks to himself, well aware of the imposition all others have been on him. As he debates what he wants, a customer nudges in front of him, asking the barista to add a cookie to his order. “No problem, only guy in the world! I’m sure you need your cookie.” His head continues to emphatically shake, visible to any who are watching…

When finally able to order his tall, decaf macchiato, the barista collects his cash but also alerts him that “it might take a few minutes” due to the volume in the coffee shop today; the barista even, actually thanks the young professional for his patience. The man quietly nods, closes his eyes a bit, like “of course, I’ve been patient,” only uttering “great,” but inside his head adding, “yeah, great. Great for me. Waiting again” — and another “unbelievable.”

Then while waiting, a stranger steps near, a stranger who hands our young professional a fresh case of eyeglasses. His proximity is clearly unwelcome, but the unspoken encouragement to accept the glasses and put them on is hesitantly, eventually accepted. He puts on the glasses. And sees things anew.

Through his newfound vision, the people in the room now come with unarticulated, previous unseen captions…

Discontent with life… avoids relationships for fear of pain… struggling with sense of purpose…

The man begins to see people in a way before that he could not…

“What is that? What in the world?!” he exclaims.

He looks closer — confused by what his eyes now see…

Has never known true friendship… recently lost his job… fighting addiction…

All these descriptions of people that he couldn’t see before. He takes the glasses on and off. Is this really happening?! He can only see what’s really going on when donning the empathetic lenses. He keeps playing with them, getting his drink, and exiting the shop. He can’t take it anymore. “I’ve gotta get out of here!”

But with the glasses still on, he sees more in others outside, too…

Just needs a hug… works 2 jobs to feed her kids… grieving her best friend…

The “grieving her best friend” caption was assigned to the woman driving the shiny red Volvo.

The point of the video was that eyesight changes insight. We tend to only see what we want to see, not taking the time and discernment to recognize what’s going on in the life of others. We make the mistake of being ignorant of our own blinders… blinders that lead to impatience, disgust, and arrogance of opinion.

Lenses matter, friends. They change the way we see other people. They also alter the justification we allow for our own thinking and behavior.

Respectfully…

AR

[Note: if desired, catch entire video HERE— and how the young man interacts once more with the boy and his skateboard. 🙂 ]

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