Friday, November 21, 2008

How's Your Vision?

One woman laughs about the time she took her 14-year-old daughter and her daughter's best friend to a Peter, Paul and Mary concert. They were all fans of "oldies" music from the 60's and 70's and felt lucky to get front row seats. When they returned home, her daughter said, "During the show, we looked back and saw hundreds of little lights swaying to the music. At first we thought the people were holding up cigarette lighters. Then we realized that the lights were the reflections off all the eyeglasses in the audience." (Thanks to Reader's Digest)

My eyesight isn't what it used to be, either. But as Helen Keller (who could neither hear nor see) said, "The greatest tragedy in life is people who have sight but no vision." Maybe I should be more concerned with my vision than with my eyesight.

There are numerous stories of people who lacked vision. A Hollywood producer scrawled a curt rejection note on a manuscript that became "Gone With The Wind." He had no vision for the success that movie would enjoy.

Orville and Wilbur Wright felt excited. On December 17, 1903, they had finally succeeded in keeping their homemade airplane in the air for 59 seconds. Immediately, they rushed a telegram to their sister in Dayton, Ohio, telling of this great accomplishment. The telegram read, "First sustained flight today fifty-nine seconds. Hope to be home by Christmas."

Upon receiving the news of the successful flight, their sister was so excited that she rushed to the newspaper office and gave the telegram to the editor. The next morning the newspaper headed the story: "Popular Local Bicycle Merchants To Be Home For Holidays." The hapless editor saw what was obvious, but missed the real story.

Vision is never about seeing the obvious. It's about looking ahead; about seeing what is not there -- YET. It's often about seeing the potential behind the obvious.

Like the potential in people. Spotting the potential for success in a student who, as is obvious to everyone else, will likely fail.

Or recognizing the potential for something good to come from a situation others are writing off as lost.

If we want to see what is really going on, we will need to learn to spot what is not there, then act on it.

So... your eyesight may be perfect, but how's your vision?

-- Steve Goodier

Image: martin


Anonymous said...

Hi Steve,
I have subscribed to 'life support' for a while now and I always look forward to your words of wisdom.

Most of your posts resonate with me, but this one was particularly relevant. I am a piano teacher in the UK who took on a pupil with learning difficulties a few years ago. His Mother brought him to me because I am known in my local area to take on 'special needs' kids. 'Special' is the operative word. Today he took his grade 5 piano exam and passed with a really high mark. He has the potential that so many other people just don't see. He is an amazing kid who just doesn't understand the word 'fail' and he has such talent! OK, so he finds it difficult to read music,(something which many teachers wouldn't tolerate) but his improvisations are stunning and he feels the music so deeply that when he plays you can't help but be moved!

Thanks again for the light you shed.


Anonymous said...

I see said the blind man...Vision is never about seeing the obvious. It's about looking ahead; about seeing what is not there--YET. It is like faith. Faith in what we don't see. "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen."