Looking or Seeing?
By Rose Scott
Modern living discourages us utilising our five sense to their full. Most of us look without seeing and hear without listening. Perhaps it is the recognition of this fact that highlighted a scene in the movie “Avatar”.
In the scene an alien species is demonstrating to a human avatar their traditional greeting – where they look into one other’s eyes and say “I SEE you.” This struck me as being a great deal more meaningful than our traditional greeting of rushing past each other with a rushed “How are you?” – hoping not to have to stop and listen to a long version response to the question.
Living in Plettenberg Bay has also brought to my attention how numbed my visual senses had become when living in a city – here we are surrounded by natural beauty. It is impossible to travel anywhere in our town without being able to indulge in a feast for the eyes.
Many however no longer notice the bounty that we are blessed with and how a frustrating, unfulfilling day can be changed simply by lifting your eyes and SEEING rather than looking at the colours painted across the sky – from the indigo of pre-dawn to the rosy orange of dawn to the azure of full day. Or the many shades of grey – from black, to purple to pearl in an overcast or rainy afternoon.
The varied greens of grass, plants, trees, the many moods reflected in the ever changing palette of the ocean. No extra time or stress is required to change looking to seeing, but the quality of your life changes as moments like these take us away from self-absorption and the problems that we may encounter.
When we really SEE we gain a new perspective – it is possible to understand that no matter how tough things may be at the moment, our problems need not be overwhelming or all encompassing; there is more to life – as evidenced all around us!
If practised regularly the result of SEEING the natural beauty around you is that you begin to SEE people differently too – no longer focusing on faults or what is “not there”, but appreciating what is; SEEING your problems not us insurmountable, but as challenges that simply await you being aware enough to SEE the solution.
After years, or decades of not utilising your vision it can be difficult to appreciate the magnificence of what surrounds you every moment of each day, but catch yourself a few times each, stop and actively indulge in the sights before you. Soon you will find yourself LOOKING for the moments when you really SEE.