Worldview: What’s your lens prescription?

When I first had to get contacts, I was shocked at how my vision changed when wearing them. I was also shocked that I hadn’t noticed that I couldn’t see things in the distance anymore. I think that’s where some of us may be right now when viewing our world.

Have you heard the expression looking through rose-colored glasses? I think there’s even more impacting how we see the world. I think our glasses provide prescription level changes from how the world is versus how we see it. The trick is to know the prescription of those lenses so we can understand our worldview.

Vision test

It can be family, religion, friends, fears, past experiences, or so many other things that impact our vision of ourselves and the world. These impacts can be good or bad. They may color the view in a rosy optimistic tint or they may darken it with despair. They can bring the picture into sharper details or they can blur it until it’s unrecognizable.

Writing is something that has impacted my worldview over the last seven years. I am proud to say that I see the world through a writing lens. This doesn’t mean I’m a good writer or am particularly skilled or knowledgeable. It does mean I know writing has impacted me. Writing is how I process the world.

I often see people as characters. I seek to understand their motivations and enjoy celebrating their quirks. Screaming ‘plot twist’ provides comfort to me when things go awry. I look for foreshadowing and themes in daily life. Body language intrigues and inspires characters I write.

I am a writer.

I’m also an aikidoka (martial artist trained in aikido).

My training on the mats has served to change my worldview too. If you’ve been around my blog a bit, you’ll see many examples. If you’ve read my books, you’ll find even more. I enjoy writing warriors and use my training experiences with a fictional spin in both the Rahki Chronicles and Atlantic Island: Guardian Books.

It’s not only my characters who scan a new place and look for dangers. It’s not only my characters who allow martial arts ideas of honor to impact their choices. Just as I process the world as a writer, I also process it as a martial artist.

These two things have had positive impacts on my worldview. They have changed my prescription to bring more details to life and to inspire more empathy. They’ve made me more aware of looking at the world through a lens.

Bad eyesight

What about those things that negatively impact my worldview? Am I aware of personal blind spots? While I’d like to think so, I also believe they are called blind spots for a reason. It’s important to seek them out…but it can also be uncomfortable and scary.

Uncomfortable and scary is where we are at in our world right now. We are questioning things we haven’t questioned before and we are seeing each other and ourselves differently.

What about you?

Do you think you see the world clearly? Do you see yourself clearly? What about others who aren’t like you? Has the pandemic and protests changed how you view yourself and your life? Are you open to looking for your personal blind spots?

Yes, it is terrifying, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. Being brave isn’t a lack of fear – it’s deciding to act even when afraid. I enjoy writing brave characters and I want to be brave.

To carry the prescription analogy further, these chaotic times are our appointments with the optometrist. We are getting an eye exam and hopefully new prescriptions. As I hate to even be wrong when reading the eye chart, I understand the fear and hostility when our worldview is challenged. Just as with fear though, anger isn’t a reason to not act.

**Emotions prompt emotional responses – we need to find some logic and calm to change things. Crying in the eye doctor’s office only blurs our vision. Get those emotions out, but they won’t help change our prescription.**

Have you ever been to an eye doctor? Do you know an older person who fought getting bifocals? We all like to think we are right, see things clearly, and don’t need help. We believe others are the ones who are wrong. Some people do have 20/20 vision…at least when looking at vision charts.

However, we all need help in seeing the world and ourselves accurately. We need to challenge ourselves with the same lens we challenge others by – we need to see all through a lens of compassion and love.

We also need to give everyone a chance to change their prescription. If we want others to see things through our lens, we can’t mock, terrorize, or condemn them for trying. We can’t make failure and struggles such a terrifying experience that no one wants to admit to them. We all need to be able to make mistakes, learn, and move forward. If you use contacts/ glasses, you realize how disorienting it is when you take them off. The world is blurry and dangerous.

Vision danger

Let others take off their glasses – let them try new ones and adjust their view.

So, I’ll ask again – Has the pandemic and protests changed how you view yourself and your life? Are you open to accepting your prescription? Do you want to change it? Can you let others try as well? Are you able to let yourself and others make mistakes and learn?

You can share your thoughts here or contact me directly to comment privately. I would encourage all to see if you understand what your prescription is and to seek ways to improve it.

Keep your vision clear, my friends.

-RSJ

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