“Four Eyes” on Health
I have a confession to make. When I was younger, I used to make fun of people who wore glasses. Yes, I called people “four eyes,” and I’m sure the word, “nerd,” came out a time or two. I’m not proud. I was particularly NOT proud when I had to start wearing glasses in the 4th grade. Ahh, life is always so humbling, isn’t it? I of course wore my glasses as little as possible, even playing sports without vision aide. In fact, it wasn’t until after I graduated college that I actually got fitted for contacts and now I wear them religiously. But let’s get back to the glasses. Tonight, while watching a documentary on forgiveness, I discovered the multiple uses and of course, Unexpected Health, that’s found behind the lens…in glasses.
I’m sure I don’t need to tell you about the known health benefits of glasses: they shield your eyes from the nearly blinding rays of the sun; glasses help you see more clearly; a good pair of shades can block your peepers from objects in the air. But the unexpected health that refreshingly appears in a pair of spectacles is that glasses create a different view and seeing a person or experience in a different ‘light’ is healthy.
Tonight, I learned how teachers in Northern Ireland are using visuals (and metaphors) to teach children forgiveness. After a child would tell a story about someone who hurt them, they were asked to put on their, “Forgiveness Glasses,” and then say something good about that same person. In literally a few seconds, a child was able to distinguish a person’s hurtful act from the person themselves. What a powerful vision of health. What if we were able to use our reading glasses, bifocals, and sunglasses to help us see more than our naked eyes are capable of? What if when we put on our black, brown, or orange-shaded glasses we could actually see something positive in those who have hurt us?
It is so easy to hold on to resentment, anger, and sadness when someone hurts us. It’s hard to forgive. But then I think about times like the troubles in Northern Ireland and I wonder how a family whose father or son was killed would be able to forgive? How would you teach a fatherless child how to forgive? There are so many objects we have in our daily life that we take to mean so literally…like glasses. But what a great gift to realize that something so simple, so prevalent in all of our lives (if you are anything like me then you have at least three pairs of sunglasses), can actually be used as a healing tool. So the next time you reach for your slick pair of shades, remember that your glasses have many purposes. Let your glasses block out the harm…but let them also let in the light that appears when we see others with different eyes. -Until tomorrow, Jaime
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