Deep Reflections

“If you look deep into your enemies’ eyes you may indeed see yourself.”

I don’t know where this quote comes from. Wikipedia failed me. It may have been a line in a movie or a book and it just stuck in my head. But when you think about it, it is true.  If you are looking at your enemy, then your enemy is probably doing exactly the same thing to you and thinking the same thing. It’s all about perspective.

In this fast-paced world we look, we see, we judge and act on that judgment. It isn’t necessarily true or fair but it’s what most people do. We don’t have the time to spend shaking hands and looking into the eyes of a stranger and getting to know them. And that is a shame and it is a travesty because we miss so much beauty and wealth that it makes us poorer.

We live in a technological world where everything we want to know is at our fingertips. There is so little sharing of information between two people talking, examining feelings and aspirations. All that seems to have been shunted to one side in favour of knowing the latest trend and the most popular celebrity. I enjoyed my ‘getting to know you’ dates. I enjoyed learning, the hard way sometimes. But it was a joy and an experience. Now everything is at my fingertips and I don’t even have to go to the library to check out a reference book. I wonder if someday we will be no longer need to interact at all with another human being. It will all be done by computer bits and bytes.

I am going out for lunch with a friend in a few days and I am feeling a little anxious. It’s not like I haven’t done this hundreds of times but I’m afraid I will have forgotten the niceties. It’s been a year and a half and I have grown comfortable in my reclusiveness, perhaps too comfortable. Hence the necessity for going out to a restaurant.

When we look deep into the eyes of another, we do see ourselves or the version of ourselves we believe. Each of us feels love, despair, hurt and an endless harmony of emotions. No one is alone in their feelings. Human beings are social animals, we need each other. We need to see each other and to physically connect even if it is just a simple hug. Times don’t allow for all of that right now but they will, in time and while I hate to say it: we must be patient or we could lose it all.

 

42 thoughts on “Deep Reflections

  1. Mark Lanesbury

    Others do indeed reflect what we need to know about ourselves. I want to look into the virus’s eyes but it isn’t playing fair, it sneaks inside while I’m not looking. Mmm, does that mean I don’t know myself so I hide myself from others too? 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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  2. Murphy’s Law

    As always, your words ring true and speak such wisdom.

    Last month our daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter came to visit. We hadn’t seen them ‘in person’ for more than a year! When I hugged them I thought my heart would pound out of my chest!! And we got to be with them yesterday too! We won the Lottery!

    This technology (which I know so little about) is fantastic. But it will never replace human contact.

    I think it’s awesome that you’re having lunch with a friend. Once your heart calms down from the excitement, you two will be in “catch up Heaven”. The restaurant could serve you broiled Aardvark and neither of you would notice! 🥰 Hope you take pictures to memorialize the occasion.

    Love your painting. Perfect for this post.
    Ginger

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    1. quiall Post author

      Thanks Ginger. It felt a little strange as we were the only ones in the restaurant and while the food was uninspiring the company was inspirational!

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  3. Jennie

    This is a thought provoking post. Human contact and interaction expands our learning and behavior. It’s what we need. I made a list of friends I haven’t seen in a while due to Covid, and reached out set up a get together with each one. Will it seem strange after so long? Maybe, but I bet all the feelings of how it used to be come flooding back. I think the same will happen to you, Pam.

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  4. lstipancic

    Love the post. In today’s fast paced world we have grown too impatient with everything. And, I think, deep down, we are all a little scared of being judged by someone else. The concept of social media was to allow us to stay in touch with loved ones and friends. It seems to have grown into an uncontrollable monster that allows bully and hatred to spread like wildfire and there isn’t enough kindness and love to put it out. It is sad to watch it play out.😢

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  5. joylennick

    Thank you Pamela. Such a wise, and suitably sad…piece. I couldn’t agree more! There is a saying about people being as good and as bad as they can be…Einstein? Apparently, we all have both in our natures…Obviously, some of us are much nicer/kinder than others and vice versa, but it does depend on the state of each mind and experiences, doesn’t it…..Why are so many minds hell-bent on controlling others for instance. Take China, Russia, Myanmar, Syria, Iran, and a few others…and seemingly intelligent people suddenly becoming passionate virus denial theorists? If only we could find suitable answers, eh! Thank goodness for hope. xx

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    1. quiall Post author

      I too worry about peoples reactions to each other. Maybe we aren’t asking the right questions. Maybe we’re not supposed to know. People will be people with all the frailties and indecisions that come with the package.

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  6. Sorryless

    It’s probably why people whose work is catching the bad guys tend to suffer greatly. Because you can only put yourself in their shoes for so long before it threatens to break you. And the quote is similar to something Nietzsche once said about if you stare into the abyss too long, it may end up staring back at you.

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    1. quiall Post author

      I remember the Nietzsche quote! Thanks for reminding me. I spent 30 years working for a local police department and you are absolutely right. It can be difficult psychologically. But it’s something that the staff is trained to watch for. Doesn’t make it any easier.

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      1. Sorryless

        No it doesn’t. But it is God’s work, being done in the arms of the devil sometimes. Good thing the world is opening itself up to mental well being because people need to take care of themselves.

        Liked by 3 people

  7. Melanie B Cee

    Way deep! I think you’ll find that your lunch ‘out’ is refreshing rather than scary. I, like you, feel that the enforced solitude of the past year didn’t do a thing for my social skills, and I was anxious when I got an invitation to lunch too, but it was fine. I felt an actual sense of relief almost that things were going on as normal (or as normal was defined pre-Covid). There are still a lot of yahoos out there, don’t get me wrong, but I was glad to be able to stretch my social muscles a tiny bit. I hope the same proves true for you!

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  8. rangewriter

    I understand your mixed feelings about going out with a friend. I’m sure it will rejuvenate you in ways you’re not expecting. I just drove with my friend to our first book club outing in over a year. She and I have connected several times, but not the book club as a whole. It was lovely.

    On the drive to our destination my friend read from an essay she’d fallen in love with about friendship. W/o the text or even the name of the author to go on, I hesitate to try to summarize or paraphrase, but the essay talked of how we need friends who know us well enough to know our best parts and our worst parts. A friend reflects back to us our best parts, does not tear us down for the bad parts, but emphasizes and helps us redirects our energy to the positive. I thought that was quite lovely.

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    1. quiall Post author

      That is lovely! And so very true. I had a card once that said: a good friend will let you cry on her shoulder about a nasty boyfriend. A great friend will help you hide the body. I still laugh at that.

      Liked by 1 person

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  9. Dale

    I’ve always been a social type and am amazed (and a tad concerned) at how comfortable I’ve gotten at NOT being with people. This past Saturday was a BBQ at friends’ house and it was so lovely to be with people and look ’em in the eyes (not through a screen). It also made me realise all the more how much I appreciate being with people and not just by myself…

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  11. Turtle Quotes

    It’s likely why individuals whose work is getting the trouble makers will in general endure enormously. Since you can just imagine their perspective for such a long time before it takes steps to break you. What’s more, the statement is like something Nietzsche once said about on the off chance that you gaze into the chasm excessively long, it might wind up gazing back at you.

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