We all tend to be blind to important things. Sometimes we realize that we’re blinding ourselves, and sometimes we don’t, but we still blind ourselves. We generally see the things we want to see. When we don’t like someone, then we see all of the things that we don’t like, and we don’t see any of the things that we might like. When we do like someone, then we see all of the things that we like, and we don’t see any of the things that we might not like. As I write I’m talking to a friend of mine on an instant messenger and she’s explaining to me the weird uncomfortable date she went on recently and how horrible the guy was. The thing is, she barely knows this guy. By her own admission she’s only talked to him briefly a few times, and while they don’t have much in common, she’s listing out to me all of the things that are wrong with him and why he’s a weak, worthless person.
The thing is we all do this, especially when someone we don’t particularly like does like us. Instead of seeing them for who they are, we see everything that we don’t like. Sometimes we even see things that we don’t like about other people, even though they are completely untrue of the person that we’re talking about. I did this with a friend not too long ago. She wasn’t even someone I disliked, just someone I wasn’t romantically interested in. Though she was the first girl to actually pursue me in a very long time. I made it clear to her early on that I wasn’t interested in anything romantic, but she was still hung-up on me for almost a year.
The thing is, she really is a very sweet girl who deeply cared about me, and I almost blinded myself to that. I saw every annoying facet of her infatuation, and slowly lost sight of every positive aspect of her character until I was simply constantly annoyed with her. I realized what I was doing in time to avoid doing anything stupid and hurtful, thankfully, but the thing is that I was doing it. I only let myself see one aspect of her being, and that easily could have cost me a close friend.
I’m not really a huge fan of The Song of Ice and Fire, but I enjoy the novels. The stories are good and the characters are interesting, thoroughly worth reading, though they’ll never make it into my top suggested novels. However, there is one character (though he only appears for a short while in the first novel A Game of Thrones) that I absolutely love. The character’s name is Syrio Forel, and he is a swordmaster and brave from a foreign land who is hired to teach swordsmanship to one of the main characters. One of the first lessons that he teaches her is to see truly. That is to say that one should not be mislead by appearances, expectations, or prejudices, but that one should see truly and judge honestly.
This is a very difficult thing to do, and honestly the older I get and the more I try, the more I realize how hard it actually it. We are all weighed down by our experiences, our expectations, the things that we have been taught, and the things that we have learned (which are often quite different). To see through all of that, along with the masks that people throw up to protect themselves, and the hundred thousand different opinions about everyone is a daunting task. Yet, if we are to be true, then we must learn to see truly. Otherwise we inevitably become lost in our own perceptions and suspicions and we wind up hurting people that we should be loving. Honestly, I think the Psalmist had it right when he said ‘there is no-one good, no not one’.