I watched a video on LinkedIn this morning about a young color-blind student named Jonathan. In a science class at Lakeview Schools his fellow color-blind principal, Scott Hanson, changed his life by sharing his color-blind glasses.
Jonathan had most likely heard about colors; perhaps even been able to notice nuances between the darker and lighter shades of things; but upon putting on those glasses for the first time, he was so awestruck by the color and beauty around him that he cried.
When I was a 7-year-old student, I couldn’t see the blackboard clearly. I developed several compensating behaviors including going to the front of the class to sharpen my pencil, throw something away, or stop by the teacher’s desk to ask her a question – sneaking furtive glances at the nearby chalkboard. I finally mentioned my difficulty to my parents and was taken to the eye doctor for corrective lenses. We all remember my exclamations of surprise and joy that first ride home as I saw the details in the landscape around us, read billboards and signs, and was truly able see the world I’d been living in, but not fully seeing until that day. It was a day of discovery. And it was wonderful.
I hadn’t realized how much I was missing until that moment. Because I couldn’t see it.
You never know what you don’t know until you know.
How many areas of our lives might be kept in the dark, or blurred out because we aren’t aware of how sharp and clear they could be? How do we even begin to discover all that is possible?
I don’t have the answer. I’m exploring this topic myself on my ongoing journey of personal enrichment and betterment. However, here are some suggestions:
- For those who love to read - books and magazines can provide information on how to live your best life, achieve optimal mental and physical health, or reach educational and career goals.
- For those who prefer a more visual type of stimulation - television and movies can transport us to different parts of the world or showcase different ways of life.
- For those who prefer-in person learning - observing the world we live in and having deep conversations with friends and colleagues can help us to determine things that we might want more of in our life, and perhaps shed the light on things that no longer serve us.
Explore, educate yourself, and try new things. Be willing to share experiences much like Jonathan’s color-blind principal did. He wanted to share the power of a pair of glasses that would bring color to life for this young student; much as they had done for him. I can hear the principal in the video talking about how he wanted to “touch” the colors once he could see them.
Set out to learn something new every day and give yourself the opportunity to exclaim “I never knew that!” Seek out experiences that will make you feel more connected to yourself and the world around you. How exciting that sense of daily discovery could be!
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Let’s learn something new together!