Courtesy of the Helen Keller Foundation

Courtesy of the Helen Keller Foundation

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched — they must be felt with the heart.”

~ Helen Keller

What do you see when your eyes are closed? In my case, I see plenty.

I am amazed by how frequently we think we see, when in fact we do not. Our outward sight is often conflicted, confused and perplexed by external messages that distort our inward vision and understanding.

With true vision in mind, I could think of no better woman to personify the message contained in this post. By all accounts, Helen Keller should be able to “see” nothing. Instead, her lack of eyesight — and even hearing — proved a gateway to her inner growth and special wisdom. Today, Helen’s wise proclamation creates reason to pause for those of us who claim to see.

Chapter Break Angel“This is why I speak to them in parables. Though seeing, they do not see;
    though hearing, they do not hear or understand.” ~ Jesus 

Most of us accord special stature, knowledge or authority to others. We let them explain the world to us and fail to inquire of it ourselves.

Sometimes we’re busy, stressed or feeling inadequate to the task of deconstructing the world around us. As a result, we suspend our own sense of reality and surrender it to others.

Yet information, titles and expertise are not always a fair replacement for true vision — or even hearing. We need not look farther than the news to discover a world replete with problems — and experts unable to solve the problems for us.

When possible, I try to view things like Presidential debates and other polarizing “news” reports without network intervention. If something is available on C-SPAN public television, I’ll tune in. In these quieter venues, there is no concurrent dialogue or overlay. There’s no talking head to translate what I think I just heard.

Without an expert commentator to zero in on selective remarks and build a framework around them, I must listen for myself. Without overlays of biases, fears and prejudices, I am left only with those of my own. I must assess — inwardly as well as intellectually — what is happening or being said. And I must decide how I truly feel about it.

Chapter Break AngelThis Week’s Podcast

A few weeks ago, I attended the funeral of a man I never met. I wondered why I was drawn to his memorial, but something compelled me to go. When I arrived, the lesson turned obvious.I never saw the man, but I learned about his inner qualities and how he influenced those around him.

What I acquired from that memorial service provided content and inspiration for the following podcast. Listen here or click on the image below and perhaps you, too, will see why.

Maura Sweeney Podcast CoverTake a few moments today and close your eyes. Listen like Helen Keller advises and discover eyes and wisdom of a different sort.

As you do, may your heart discover some of the best and most beautiful things in the world!

Maura Sweeney in Hvar Island CroatiaMaura Sweeney is a Podcaster, Author and Speaker

Her mantra is “Living Happy – Inside Out!”

Find her podcasts on iTunes and Stitcher

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