My distain for reading glasses. My mom’s cataract surgery. The movie Soul Surfer.
Let’s start with my distain for reading glasses.
I’m in my forties, yet I have 80 year old eyes. Every year since 4th grade I’ve gone to the eye doctor, and every year he’s had to make my prescription a little bit stronger than the year before.
At some point, I started using what they call mono lenses. I have one lens that lets me see objects far away and the other allows me to see close up. They’ve work seamlessly for years to bring all objects, near or far, into perfect view.
But not so much anymore. My 80 year old eyes simply don’t allow it and now I’m a person who wears contacts but still needs readers.
It’s simply not fair.
I haven’t purchased the readers yet. Instead, I either take my glasses off, or if I’m wearing my contacts, I just hold the paper at the perfect distance or squint.
Why do I do this to myself? It’s simple. I don’t want to wear readers. They are for old people. Amanda with readers = Amanda is old.
On to the cataract surgery.
Within the last 3 weeks, my mom has had cataract surgery on both eyes. It’s a simple procedure, really, and takes about 15 minutes. Cataracts cause the lenses in your eyes to become cloudy, which of course affects vision. Cataracts develop slowly over time. At first, you can compensate for the decreased visibility, but eventually they interfere with your day to day functionality to a point where you have to take action. Removing the clouded lenses and replacing them with clear ones improves vision drastically. In my mom’s case, she now sees perfectly without the aid of glasses.
Now for the movie portion of this post.
I recently watched Soul Surfer with my daughter, Micah. I love movies like this – stories of strength and overcoming. This one is faith-based so it scores an added bonus for me.
In one of the scenes, the youth director does an object lesson with the teens. She shows them an extreme close up of a fly’s eye and asks them to identify it. No one guesses correctly. She does the same with a zoomed in walnut. When she zooms out to reveal both the eye and the walnut, the teens are surprised. The youth director tells them that sometimes in order to see clearly we have to take a step back and look at things from a different angle.
As I think about these 3 things – all unrelated in terms of their occurrence – something stands out to me.
They are all variations of a distorted perspective and all 3 require a different approach to gaining clarity.
In the first example, clarity comes with a second set of lenses, which can be relatively easy to obtain but requires putting our ego or fear aside. We have to humbly admit that clarity comes from outside of ourselves.
The second example is perhaps the most traumatic because we have to acknowledge that we need a whole new set of lenses altogether in order to gain clarity. It’s a big deal that requires a total shift in how we see things.
And the third is the easiest in theory because it requires us to simply take a step back in order to gain clarity. We can get so close to or vested in something that we end up not seeing what’s really best in a situation.
There are easily 100 illustrations in my life where I could apply each of these three ways of gaining clarity.
I won’t share them all, but I do think about times I refused to put on a second set of lenses to see things from another person’s point of view.
I think about times I’ve been so vested in an idea that thinking about approaching it from another direction just wasn’t an option. Changing my lenses completely was out of the question.
And, I think about times I needed to step back and look at the bigger picture.
Here’s what I’ve learned. When my focus off, the worst decision is to do nothing at all.
So, buy the readers.
Get the cataract surgery.
The new perspective that comes with it will be just what you needed.