See with New Eyes

The doctor said, “You’ll discover that things are not the colors they appear to you now.”

I thought, “Sure. I see okay now. My problem is with night driving, nothing else.”

But, surgery was scheduled.

I am a photographer. I am trained to see. I have worked in Photoshop for years, even decades. I used to teach Photoshop at a local community college. But my doctor said, “You’ll be surprised when you work with your photos after your eyes are healed.”

I thought, “Yeah, right.” (Said with a downward inflection on ‘right’ indicating disbelief.)

It has been a few weeks now since the surgery.

I was not anticipating the difference it made. It’s like I have new eyes. My wife has even commented that my eyes look different to her now. This surgery really has enhanced my life.

IRL (In Real Life)

This got me thinking about what we see IRL, compared to what we think we see.

The Doctor was right. I was surprised. I had been seeing colors darkly, as through the haze of a dark veil.

My perception was flawed. And I had been ignorant of it. I needed an operation to replace the lenses that I was looking through.

We, each of us, see life through five lenses that help us interpret what we see.

While I would struggle to find a positive aspect to my cataracts, the following list of lenses have both positive and negative influences. I am not trying to be comprehensive in my presentation here.

My goal is to create awareness and thought regarding our perceptions of the world.

Experience Lens

Experience is one of the most influential lenses through which we view our world. What we have experienced shapes what we are able to see.

I was once part of a committee given the task of selecting a leader for a large organization. One of the first requisites used to filter candidates stated simply “World View.” If the person had not traveled outside of the United States, and beyond North America, he or she was immediately disqualified.

A person who has not seen how people in the Third World countries live, cannot understand their perspectives. An organization that works in those countries needs a leader who is able to view business through a lens beyond the USA lens.

Education Lens

Education lenses influence how we interpret what we see. College is supposed to give us an historical context, and a broad exposure to knowledge, through which to see life. Each course that we study adds to our ability to understand or interpret ideas, events, and viewpoints.

Education is the fastest way to Enhance the Life of anyone.

Belief Lens

Belief lenses are largely imposed on us through Family life enculturation. I know that I was both sheltered and indoctrinated by my family, through the habits, traditions, and beliefs they incorporated into our lives.

This lens helps to bring stability to society.

Ignorance Lens

Ignorance lenses are influences that impact everyone negatively. There are so many things about which I am ignorant. Everyone is ignorant in many ways. But we tend to not look carefully at the degree of ignorance that focuses how we relate to an idea.

Due to ignorance I will likely make decisions and connections that negatively affect me. When I acknowledge my lack of knowledge in a particular area, I am less likely to make an absolute decision about it.

Because it is difficult to admit our own ignorance, this lens is difficult to re-focus.

Prejudice Lens

Prejudice lenses have spun out of my experiences, education, and beliefs, and have, for the most part, become my prejudices. Certainly, I have modified what my parents and teachers presented in a prejudicial light. Yet, I tend to sway toward those prejudices, rather than away from them.

Prejudice lenses are the most difficult to re-focus, because they are rooted in our other four lenses, experience, education, beliefs, and ignorance.

Lens Operation

Knowing the existence of these lenses and their origins, makes it possible for me to inspect each one for validity. Again, an operation is needed.

Step one in this operation is to admit to the presence of these lenses or filters. That may be uncomfortable at first. But without taking this step you will be blind to the glory of the light and colors that surround you. You will continue to see through a veil.

You will be held captive by what you believe you see.

Step two involves removing each lens and investigating the evidence for and against each opinion, belief, and “fact” that you look at through that lens.

Look carefully at how the lenses, as filters, intersect in their influences. Go to authoritative sources, including people – experts – and investigate.

As you engage in introspection, ask the question, Why is this belief or attitude or behavior part of me? Inspect each one for its influence and impact.

Accept what passes your New Eyes Inspection. Be careful not to reject any lens or filter without engaging with a trusted adviser or mentor.

Just as I could not remove the cataracts from my own eyes I probably cannot by myself remove the faulty lenses that determine what I see in life. Not everyone is equipped to be a trusted adviser. Choose carefully.

It is never too late to look carefully at yourself and see with new eyes.

The best operation you can have to correct the problems with how and what we see, is to allow Jesus to open our eyes so we can see the way He sees.

My new eyes have greatly enhanced my life.

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How would your life be enhanced with new eyes taking a new look at your life structures?

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