In so many ways, people are like books. Each of us has a story. Our stories contain fact, some contain fiction, some comedy, mystery, intrigue, tragedy or a complex mix. The problem is that we usually come into another person’s story somewhere in the middle. We meet them in the throes of their tale and we have missed the whole premise. We come into their life like a person randomly parting a book and starting to read. We have no idea what is going on in their story or how they got there.
It seems that the only way to really understand someone is to find out the beginning of their saga, to read the pages before we entered the scene. It is important to look deeply into their life and see what has already transpired. Their story explains so much of why they do the things they do. It tells us who they really are.
Often we miss a rare beauty or fascinating character because we pigeon-hole someone before we even get to know them. “She’s just a cashier,” or “he’s just like that guy I worked with at my last job.” Granted, it is easier to cubbyhole someone and write them off, but you will find that if you do this, it will also be done to you. If you don’t try to “see”, you will also find that you lose your ability. You become blind to other people.
Vincent Van Gogh is a perfect example of someone who was and still is labeled and written off as a person. What is your first thought when you think of him? “Oh yeah, he was that crazy guy who cut his ear off, right?” We remember his art, but not the whole of his story. Truth be told, Vincent was a passionate and brave man who loved deeply and sacrificed for others. He did have some emotional instability, but I believe that much of it resulted from the fact that virtually no one but his brother Theo took the time to really know him. His story was important, and if someone had taken the time to “read “ it or “see” him, we might have more beauty in the world, and he might have lived a happier life.
Often we miss people’s beauty, talent, or significance because we don’t know how to look. We miss it because we label people or we fail to read the rich details of their life. If you had met Vincent Van Gogh, do you think you would have seen his importance? Few did. There are, however, some people who excel at this talent. One artist in particular stands out in my mind. Her name is Mary Whyte.
The way Mary sees is inspirational to me. I think you will “see” what I mean….