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Correcting Our Vision

Correcting Our Vision

Why did God create so many of us with faulty vision?

by

I’ve been thinking a lot about eyeglasses lately.

I was sitting at the steering wheel ready for my three hour drive home after spending the day out of town with friends.

One of my friends saw a defect in my eyeglasses and asked if he could fiddle around with them. He has lots of experience fixing glasses. I appreciated his offer, let him tinker with them and didn’t think twice.

Minutes later he returned with a very apologetic face. One of the lenses was split into two, and the frames were unusable. "In all my years, this has never happened to me," he said. I was speechless.

I tried my best to make him feel that I was not angry, and my wife, who loathes driving long distances at night, took over.

Within days, my friend quickly made amends and everything is back to normal now. But I'm still thinking about eyeglasses. I have very poor eyesight and prior to that mishap, I don’t remember the last time I had to see blurry for such a long time.

Eyeglasses first appeared in Pisa, Italy, around the year 1286 and only in the late 14th and 15th centuries did they begin to be mass-produced on some level. What did people with poor eyesight do before eyeglasses were invented? How did they live?

Thank God I live in a world where my problematic eyesight is so easily fixable. But what’s with God? Since He’s perfect and all-powerful, why did He create so many of us with faulty vision?

He didn’t give us fingers that would only work if we attached a metal or glass mechanism to them. Yet according to the Vision Council of America, approximately 75% of adults use some sort of vision correction. Why did God make a world where the vast majority of people need corrective lenses in order to see properly?

There is very powerful lesson here. We have eyes but we cannot see. We are incapable of clearly seeing anything without help.

We look at everything in the world and we think we are seeing it unmistakably. We think we see exactly what is there in front of us in plain sight.

But in reality, we are always seeing blurry.

Do we look for the good in people or for their faults?

We judge other people. We condemn situations and circumstances. Yet, we actually possess very poor eyesight. We need to attach the ‘proper lenses’ to give us the right perspective and vision in order to look at the world appropriately. Do we look for the good in people or for their faults? Do we look at situations as random occurrences or do we try to see the underlying message guided by Divine providence?

An unkempt man was touring the Louvre with a group of tourists. As they were scanning Rembrandt's works the man yelled, "Yogurt!" Everyone thought he was nuts. But he said it again, "It looks like yogurt to me."

Then they passed by the Mona Lisa. Again he exclaimed, "Yogurt!" A wise man on the tour looked at the fellow. "Let me see your glasses."

He gave him his glasses. "What did you have for breakfast today?" he asked.

"Some cereal and yogurt," he answered.

The wise man cackled. “Look at your glasses! They are dotted with yogurt! No wonder everything you look at appears as yogurt!” (Parable of Rav Mordechai Pogramanski, pre-WW2 European scholar)

Everything we look at depends upon the lenses we are looking through.

A person with the quality of a good eye and a clean, positive lens, does not hate others, nor does he get angry with them. He does not covet what others have, because he sees everything positively without any ‘yogurt.’ If he is lacking something it is because God is telling him that he doesn’t need it, and he is happy for his friend who does have it.

We have eyes but we need to correct our vision and work on seeing people in a positive light. These are the eyeglasses we must wear at all times.

The Sages tell us that the 2nd Temple was destroyed as a result of baseless hatred, sinat chinam. During this period of the Three Weeks leading to the mournful day of Tisha B'Av when the Temple was destroyed, we are all trying to improve ourselves and our relationships with others.

One key way to better our relationships with others is to judge them favorably, looking at them in an positive way. When we live with this attitude in the courtrooms of our minds, we avoid the roots of negative vibes which often lead to hatred.

Now's the time to get your eyes examined and check your glasses, and wipe away any remaining yogurt.

Published: July 10, 2010


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Visitor Comments: 8

(8) Daniel, October 29, 2010 2:54 PM

Seeing Is Believing

Since as far back as when I was in the 5th grade I can remember I have made it a habit to look at the good side of people. I stood up for the rejected when ever possible. I could forgive people easy even if they hurt me bad. Now that I am older and seasoned in life. I can understand still why people hold grudges even after many years. They look through life with yogurt in the classes, so their vision of others is blur. I feel so sorry for them for they are missing the beauty and the wonder of life. Even in seeing the beauty of someone who was once wrong or even bad who now has become good.

(7) Jewell, July 16, 2010 6:24 PM

WOW!!

Thank you! This was great reading! Really opened my eyes!!!

(6) Anonymous, July 14, 2010 8:04 PM

I am extremely attatched to my glasses

and I don't start my day until they are in place. Thank you for this insight! I will now view my dependency on glasses as a message...the messages in this article are great!

(5) T, July 13, 2010 10:20 PM

No more rose colored glasses

I have gone through most of my life with rose colored glasses on. Making excuses for people's behavior and one day the rose colored glasses just came off. For one year I saw the meanness and ugliness in people and I thought my heart would split into. Then I learned how to forgive. Now my glasses are clear and I don't make excuses for people, I forgive. Somedays I miss the rose colored glasses, but I don't live in a perfect world and people hurt others who have been hurt. Sometimes people just need to be seen in a different light and receive some compassion so they will feel like they have rose colored glasses even if only temporary.

(4) Anonymous, July 13, 2010 7:38 PM

Eyesight and Editing

My son and I are both near-sighted. I was told it is because we have artifical lights at night and we use our eyes long after the sun goes down. It causes a lengthing of the eye ball and the focus is at the back of the eye is blurred. Glass lenses correct the focus. If this was the case, wouldn't every child in Northern Alaska be nearsighted cause it stays light 24 hours a day in some seasons? Don't believe everything you hear. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Guard your sight, guard your tongue, and always remember, nothing is as it seems. I am taking a digital photo class, with layering and photoshop. Never believe what you see in a picture!!!!! AND when someone says I saw it with my own eyes................ they could well be mistaken. They may have had yogurt for lunch. Thanks for the advice.

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