What do you not want to see


What do you not want to see? - By P.K.Odendaal - January 2013

I was inspired by the article by Annemie titled: 'What do you see?' She inspired us to look deeper into everything to see the detail, emotion, meaning, creativity, art, light and darkness, texture and colour, harmony, emotion and passion in everything.
Of course, there are also times when we do not want to see, and these are times I call: 'What do you not want to see' - the things you turn a blind eye to. It is times when we wish our eyes were closed. Some people then stick their heads in the sand, but I, not wishing to get sand or smoke in my eyes, look, but do not see, plainly because some things make my eyes sore, and some things make my heart sore. What would happen if I really tried to see these things? I think the world would be a much better place, if I also saw that. However, I am programmed not to see it.
And what are these things?

For me it is firstly simply the obvious. I am such a dreamer and idealist, that I never see the obvious, however hard I might try. On hindsight, I always remind myself that I should have seen it, because it was so obvious. And time and time again I miss the obvious. Why do I miss it? I already said that it is because I am a dreamer and idealist, so therein lies the reason. I am quite sure that I need to see the obvious, but I can't. So dreaming and idealism are bad traits to have, and that reminds me that many other idealistic statesmen should also have been less idealistic. It would have saved many lives, because most of these idealistic statesmen landed us in unnecessary wars.
Added 14 September 2013 - Quote by Jim Rohn:
Success is the study of the obvious. Everyone should take Obvious I and Obvious II in school.
But this is too intangible, so that I wish to address more tangible things that prevent me from seeing. And what are they?
One thing for sure is suffering. I cannot look upon it, trying as hard as I can. I have this syndrome in which I place myself in the place of the sufferer, and I imagine the suffering to be much worse than that person is actually suffering. Sometimes I even feel the pain manifested in my body physically. So I close my eyes, or pretend not to see. If I did not close my eyes, I would feel compelled to go to that person and tell them that I see and share their suffering, and that would be a good thing to do. But I steer away from that at all costs. I think it is because I am unable to share my feelings. I come from a background of baby-boomers who were taught that it was bad taste and feminine to share your feelings. I never seem to be able to share my feelings unless I am very cross.
My subject here was mainly pain and sorrow, but other things like poverty, humiliation and handicapped people are also classified here. The problem here is that I look at them, pity them, look away and leave in silence. That is wrong. They do not need my pity, they need my support. If I can just act normal in their presence, and give them the support I can, to make their lives more bearable, it would be much better, and nothing prevents me from doing that, except my closed eyes. Just a word would often suffice.
The third thing is maybe more painful. It is my faults which I cannot see. I have seen time and time again that other people in my presence make obvious faults or fools of themselves without realising it, and therefore I deduce that I do the same. If someone has the nerve to bring it to my notice, I may ignore them for days. Why is that, when they only wanted to help me? My first reaction is that it was my fault, that I may keep my faults to myself as it belong to me, that all people make faults, and what is wrong with making a fault, and we all are not perfect and ... the list goes on. In fact, the most vivid demonstration of people who did not see their obvious fault, we find in scripture.
Why did God have to make the following terse remarks?
To Adam and Eve: Where are you? They and God for sure knew where they were, but God wanted them to consider what happened.
To Balaam: Who are the people there with you? Balaam and God knew who those people were, but God wanted Balaam to reconsider the company he kept.
To Elijah: What are you doing here? Both Elijah and God knew he was hiding from Jezebel who wanted to kill him, but God wanted him to reconsider his position and condition.
There are many more such examples in scripture. And ... God has also on numerous occasions made these terse remarks towards me, enabling me to reconsider my position and mend my ways - occasions I am very grateful for.
To lay it on really thick, I wish to take you to the same side of another coin - our hearing. What do we hear? Which sounds can no longer reach our vestibules?
I think the main one, is the words God speaks to me in softness and kindness. God speaks in many different ways, but by way of speech, I say He speaks in my ear, even when sometimes He speaks to me through dreams and visions and sometimes through my conscious and subconscious mind, and sometimes in audible words. I try to hear that as clear as I can, but sometimes those words become painful, and I close my ears.
Similarly, our neighbour and people in need sometimes speak to us, and we pretend not to hear. With hearing, the act of not hearing is much more subtle and insidious than the act of not seeing, and we can be much more hypocritical and feigned about that. Some of us are tired of listening to some people. There is the joke which goes like this: My wife says I never listen to her, at least, that is what I think she said.
What about the same side of another coin - our feelings. Can we express our feelings, or are we so infatuated with our own individuality and pride that we will never show to anyone how we feel. How often could I have said to someone: I appreciate you and what you do? Thank you for your support and contribution to my life.
I think I will take a decision this Christmas to see more clearly what there is to see, to hear more carefully what I should hear, and to expose the vulnerability of my feelings to contribute to the happiness of someone near me.
 
Addendum added May 2013.
I think Bob Dylan says it so well in this song:

Yes, how many years can a mountain exist
Before it's washed to the sea ?
Yes, how many years can some people exist
Before they're allowed to be free ?
Yes, how many times can a man turn his head
Pretending he just doesn't see ?
The answer my friend is blowin' in the wind
The answer is blowin' in the wind.
 
Yes, how many times must a man look up
Before he can see the sky ?
Yes, how many ears must one man have
Before he can hear people cry ?
Yes, how many deaths will it take till he knows
That too many people have died ?
The answer my friend is blowin' in the wind
The answer is blowin' in the wind.

 
 
Happy Christmas 2012.
A big thank you to all my readers for your support and interest.