Another guest post from my friend, Landon:
In 1967 a doctor told me I needed to take some time off. I bought a pup tent and set off on a journey through “The Great American West.” Every day, I saw something new to me.
In 1969 I set off on a world journey. Every day, for an entire year, I saw something new to me. Every day.
In Africa I found that Africans have a beautiful saying: “I see you.”
Sensing the power of seeing something new, I made it central to my life: every day I will see something new to me. That commitment has had a profound impact on who I am.
Seeing the new is especially important in long-term relationships. In my own relationships, I make it a point to see something new in each encounter. Otherwise, it is so easy to take for granted, to experience boredom, to fail to respect—to “re-spect,” literally “to look at again”—to see the other person in a whole new light.
So many relationships suffer from this failure—not to see a spouse, a child, a parent, a friend, an enemy, even everyday experiences in a new way.
In times of strain and crisis, of suffering, of injustice, of feeling “stuck,” of feeling overwhelmed. To see something new, something I hadn’t seen before, opens the way for authentic life to keep emerging and for the best in us to grow. It changes us. It helps prevent the growth of prejudice, fear, unhealthy attitudes toward others, and trends toward polarizations.
Our humanness, our growth, is so dependent on opening our eyes each day to see the new.
“I see you.” Do you see?