Her eyesight shut down as she was rounding the curve, returning – thankfully – nearly as quickly as it had gone and just in time to avoid the bridge abutment. The ophthalmologist told her she needed glasses. The optometrist – who would have fitted her with corrective lenses except for what he saw – said she needed surgery. He was right. A Ping-Pong-ball-sized tumor had impinged upon her optic nerve and one of the best neurologists in the country performed eight-hour surgery just days later. The tumor was benign for which of course all her family has been forever thankful, not the least of which is me her husband. Wysiwyg is computer-lingo for “what you see is what you get.” Wysiwyg also describes people. All people. In computing, what you see onscreen is what will become “printed or displayed as a finished product.” In living, what you sow is what you reap. If, for example, you shut off – without notice – the water that had been borrowed with permission and needed by a neighbor – simply because you can, or because you need it more, or fill in the blank – are you the better since, after all, it is yours and you pay the bill? Should you call 9-1-1 just because your wife threw your beer away or because the fast-food place put the wrong sauce on your pizza? Paraphrasing a bit what I remember reading about a month ago on a social networking site, “turns out you can fix what is myopic, but it takes forever because the parts are on back-order due to high demand.” “Myopia is the medical term for nearsightedness. People with myopia see objects more clearly when they are close to the eye, while distant objects appear blurred or fuzzy. Reading and close-up work may be clear, but distance vision is blurry.” Not surprisingly then, to be “myopic” is to be “unable or unwilling to act prudently; shortsighted.” It’s a person “lacking tolerance or understanding; narrow-minded.” And, like its medical counterpart which is “the most common eye disorder in humans around the world,” myopia – pettiness – pretty much afflicts all of us at one time or another. It’s when we can’t see the forest for the trees. Or like the time, when our son was small, I got so engrossed in the details – my face literally hidden behind the multiple-fold-out instructions of how to put the model plane together – that by the time I muttered “ok first . . .” and looked up I realized the little guy was already outside flying the thing. There is a cure for loss of perspective. Johnny Nash described it in 1972. It was the beginning stages of the Watergate scandal and maybe it was because of that depressing fog that was to descend upon – and spread from – the nation’s capital, obscuring actual goings-on within the Nixon administration; or perhaps it was due to the perpetual pelting rain that seems always to obscure everything and depress everyone, but when Nash recorded “I Can See Clearly Now” within weeks “the song’s optimistic lyrics, and unabashedly upbeat tempo” – and inadvertent cure for a myopic view of life –reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. An ancient proverb says “a bountiful eye is a beneficent disposition.” The cure for destructive criticism? The prescription for petti pessimism? Dark clouds got you blind? Want nothin’ but blue skies, find the rainbow you been prayin’ for? Then take a hike. Get out of the valley. Away from the situation. Or at the very least ask yourself “what is the big picture here?”. The large value issues – identify those and act, and operate, accordingly.
The views expressed in this article are the writer's own.
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