The only true voyage of discovery… would be not to visit strange lands but to possess other eyes, to behold the universe through the eyes of another, of a hundred others, to behold the hundred universes that each of them beholds. ~Marcel Proust
Seeing Change, Missing Change
The human eye and brain are highly sensitive to sudden movement and change. An animal darts across the road. A student runs out of the classroom. We almost always notice these things. Gradual change is different. Our brains don’t like to work too hard and so, when we develop a concept of particular person, we tend to stick with it.
That’s understandable, but sometimes this tendency obscures important changes in that person. Sometimes, we miss the changes that are in front of our eyes because we’re caught in outdated concepts. We get so accustomed to seeing essentially the same person that we don’t detect what’s not the same.
In this New Year, perhaps we can behold the people in our lives – family, friends, colleagues and students – through new eyes. We can offer the gift of seeing them how they are in this moment, rather than how they’ve been.
How do we do this?
It all begins with our attention. We offer our attention to them in a wholehearted way. We really look at them and pause long enough to see both their continuity, and what’s changed. We might try to see them as if we’d never seen them before. Old ideas and judgments may arise – we don’t have to fight with those – but we allow them to fade to background. Even a moment of stillness in ourselves can change how we see another. Our curiosity becomes an act of generosity. We see with new eyes, and in this way, allow the other to be just who they are. From all of us at Mindful Schools, we wish you a wonderful New Year.
Mindful Schools transforms school communities from the inside out. Founded in 2007, Mindful Schools’ graduates have impacted over 750,000 children worldwide. You can learn more about our online course offerings, Mindfulness Fundamentals and Mindful Educator Essentials.