Google “Colour-Blind People See Colour” and you will find video compilations of colour-blind people who slide on a pair of EnChroma glasses and can suddenly see colours for the first time.
The reactions are almost universal. Glasses on, they look, pause and the disbelief turns into tears. Some of them can’t even talk – their shock is so real and overwhelming. One hipster teen slid the glasses on, looked around and said “this is what the world looks like?” before bursting into tears. His incredulity was genuine and heart wrenching. Imagine going through life and never seeing red? Or green? Or the full effect of blue?
One man looks down at this clothes and says, “Look at my pants. BLUE jeans, right?” Another is asked to identify colours and he guessed blue for purple. He honestly did not know what purple was. Yet another video subject says, “I didn't know what colours are.”
Their joy is palpable. While EnChroma glasses (a brand) don’t correct or cure colour blindness, they allow for a clearer distinction between colours, especially red and green, by using a filter which adjusts wavelengths and boosts colour.
If you need a good cry or an appreciation for something you take for granted, these videos will do the trick.
As far as I know, I have been seeing colours in full clarity my whole life. It’s only in the past month, in my 49th year, that I've begun holding books further away and asking my kids to read the small print on medicine bottles as the clear vision I’d taken for granted my entire life has begun to blur. I was going to hold out until I was 50 but one day while in Michaels, I gave in and bought three pairs of funky readers. They make me a feel a bit nauseous and blur everything in the distance but wow! Suddenly the words I love popped out in super definition. It was a tremendous relief.
As a child, my mother’s poor vision went undetected far too long. She was a student unable to see the blackboard when the teacher told my grandparents to get her glasses. My mother’s story is classic: when she put the glasses on for the first time she could see the leaves on the trees. The world was luminous and lovely and now she could see it!
Glasses offer a completely different view of the world, allowing people to experience the world in high definition.
I often feel like January, the first month of a new year, is a sort of fresh lens to imagine a better way of seeing and being. Imagine if we could slide on a new pair of glasses that went beyond blurry and clear, and allowed us to peer deeper into seeing who a person really is, or what a situation really means. Not in a creepy “know their thoughts” sort of way, but in a genuine release of pre-conceived notions and judgements.
We could call such glasses “Fresh View” for they would blind us to a person’s flaws or “remove the plank” as it were. These new glasses would focus on the attributes each person possesses that makes them special.
These glasses would eliminate the need for us to use our “this is right, that is wrong” tools and see a person exactly where they are at in all their struggling truth. In family. Friends. Even ourselves.
What a gift those would be! How freeing to have that kind of expansive vision; deleting judgement and embracing grace.
I know we are all blinded by our from heritage or bias, by our assumptions of how people should behave and how things should be and by the range of expectations we often unconsciously impose on one another.
I’m pretty sure those kind of glasses don’t exist but I do know we all walk around with our own set of blurry lenses. January is a good time to peek inside and refocus. Maybe we need corrective lenses. Perhaps a pair of progressives, that allow vision to transition as the subject changes ... always allowing us to see the subject no matter how close or far they are.
It’s kinda cool to think of our perceptions as wavelengths that can be corrected by a new lens. Perhaps a measure of forgiveness, grace and humility might be all we need to clarify our vision.
While I adjust to reading glasses and examine my blind spots, here’s wishing you a year so full of colour it will move you to joyous tears. Happy new year! ◊
Note: And check out the new Ruralite column making it’s debut this month! Featuring a quote from one of the month’s featured farmers, a photo haiku, jokes and inspiration, it’s a place to pause, think and smile as you launch into the magazine.