Friday, October 26, 2012
Recently, I read a story about a woman who had suffered from cataracts, and after many years finally had surgery. Her husband was driving to pick her up at the hospital, and as he drove up, he saw her gazing at the sidewalk. “Oh no” he said, “She’s lost her new contacts”. As he walked up his wife said, “I never knew the sidewalk had a pattern in it”. As they drove home, the husband listened in amazement as his wife seemed to see the world for the first time.
They walked up to the house, she said, “Honey, let me get a good look at you. You know, you haven’t aged a bit. You are still the same handsome man I married 50 years ago.” At that point he knew she could see his wrinkles and gray hair, but she looked into his eyes with an affection that had not aged or dimmed. His fears disappeared, and the glow of love filled his heart.
What do we see when we look at others? Do we know the color of our partner’s eyes? Do we gaze at one another or do we first see a spot on a jacket, a hair out of place, or a new wrinkle? Or, when we look at others, do we see love, magic and amazement?
Sometimes I think I don’t look up or actually look in the other person’s eyes. I’m frightened. I’m afraid they will see I’m tired or afraid, or angry or sad. It’s easier to glance a gaze around, rather than connect eye-to-eye with someone else.
How do I solve this? Well, my mother, Jessie Clair, had a theory…”Build an Empire”. Her thought was to instantly see in someone else what you love about them and build an empire of friendship around that quality. You can find that special excellence quickly and then instantly build a friendly rapport. The secret is to smile and then wait. You’ll see the other person’s smile returned to you and you’ll be laughing together in no time.
Exercise: The next time you’re angry, go to someone and give them a sincere compliment and share a laugh with them. The next time you are sad, go to a friend and say you love them and wrap arms of love and friendship around them. When you are feeling as if you can’t go on, go find someone who is struggling and give them a smile, and a word of encouragement and hope.
If someone truly loves you, they will see the greatness inside of you and love you for that. They will not immediately judge you for some small fault or quirky habit you possess. How do I know this? I try to see the best in others and immediately share a kind word with them. You know what… I have had such a great response from living this way. I think my mom, Jessie Clair, would be proud of all the empires of friendship I have built.
Someone asked me how I can write this blog week in and week out. Well, I must confess that this blog has changed my life. I truly listen now to what others are saying and I often ask them to repeat the brilliant comment they just made so I can write it down. I say, “That’s my next story”. I think differently, I read with purpose, and I ask others for ideas all the time. I hope and pray that these blogs give you a blessing, put a smile on your face, and a sweet song in your heart.
Next week: Believing is Seeing
David Earl Woodbury
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