“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” – Henry David Thoreau
This sign sits at a railroad crossing. It’s a good idea to look both ways before heading over. But doing so doesn’t guarantee you’ll see what you need to see. For “looking” to become “seeing” requires our attention, a quality of energy and focus that is determined to find something. But, what?
If you’ve ever backed up a car you’ve surely had the experience of narrowly missing someone or something. It’s easy to go through the motions of looking, not always so easy to see. Especially if “it” is hiding in your blind spot.
We do an awful lot of looking. Much of it into devices and screens, hyper aware of every alert, not willing to miss a thing. What are we hoping to see there? Is it connection? Meaning? Validation? Information? Opportunity? Affirmation? All of these and more, no doubt.
Once and a while you might catch a reflection of your face staring back from that screen. Notice the rapt attention. notice the focused concern. The power of choice is that we can give our attention to anything we want.
Do you know what you want to see? Can it be found where you’re looking?
The train is running on time. Will you see it?