Our lives are more similar than we know. We are all born blind, and then grow up to see. As we mature we begin to see life through spectacles. The colour and strength of these spectacles are determined by our individual experiences. The spectacles vary from single plain lenses to double lenses tinted to various colours and shades; yellow, blue, and popular grey.
When we are born we are blind, innocent and believing. The world is a safe and caring place where everyone is interested in protecting you, caring for you, and making sure you have all you need. As we grow into childhood we begin to see, but we see the world as fun and entertaining. Everything is amusing and everyone is a friend. We are selfless and accommodating (the more the merrier) and naive to evil.
As we claim to mature, life experiences and disappointments begin to dim our sight. In order to make up for it, we compensate with experience shaped glasses that are based on personal circumstances and acquired notions from individual opinions. The problem is that all such glasses are based mostly on negative experiences and these determine the shade of the glasses.
The colour derived from a single experience now determines how we see the rest of the world. A single rape incident turns an otherwise cheerful girl’s view of the world from nice and safe to ugly and cruel. A happy go guy after a robbery incident begins to see the world as a dangerous and hurtful place.
We all see through experienced shaped glasses and we impose the colour of our experiences on whomever we meet, sentencing them for a crime committed by another. Unfortunately, we remember the bad experiences much more than we remember the good. As judge and jury to our experiences, it is the senteance we place on the bad experience that we execute on the rest of our world.
As long as we keep wearing those glasses, we will always struggle with the world we see. The world, irrespective of the disease and bombs going off at every corner, is a beautiful place. Also people, irrespective of how crazy they act, are inherently nice. Even Osama Bin Laden had children, (although the purpose is debatable. He may have needed extra bombers). If we wish to be truly happy, we have to let go of our past and stop letting every personal experience change us for the worse.
What glasses are you wearing now? Is it the glasses of a broken relationship that makes you see every man as a heart breaker, or the glasses of hurt caused by Nkechi whom you thought loved you as much as you did her, but turned out to only be interested in your money? Now you are dating Nancy and she innocently voices “I need money to pay for my light bills” and fire alarms go off in your head. It screams “gold digger”. So you quit the relationship. Your last business partner cheated you, now everyone is a criminal and cannot be trusted. Your daddy was unfaithful, so all men are dogs. It is amazing what our minds can make us do. It’s like eating a bad plate of rice and deciding that rice is not good food. You can’t judge food without tasting it. That is unfair. Similarly, let each individual prove themselves for who they are before you condemn them for who you think they are. Allow yourself enjoy the taste of each new experience, and stop living on yesterdays foul taste.
Am I advocating that we become careless and foolish? No. As the saying goes “fool me once shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me”. We must be wise in our dealings, but not fearful. Once we act and relate in fear, we have lost before we even begin. The good book says “there is no fear in love…” But let me turn it around, ‘there is no love in fear. Allow yourself enjoy your life for life is fleeting. Make mistakes and learn, love and get hurt, trust and get disappointed. How else can you prove you lived? It’s like attending university without attending lectures; you’ll have a degree but learn nothing. How else can you prove you have lived than to have a memory of all life is, both the laudable and the shameful?
Let’s remove all the cool FBI shades we are wearing and get back to when we saw the world as a fun field and the occupants as playmates. Let’s see everyday as an opportunity to live, every disappointment as a reason to be grateful for good times, and every good experience as a gift we do deserve. Let’s expect the best from others and strive to see the best in both ourselves and others. The mature among us say there are no fairytale worlds, but I have learnt that everything we can think of, we can possess.
So think about it, what glasses are you wearing? What glasses do you think the people around you are wearing and how easy do you think it’ll be to take them off?