We’re all blind until we have the heart to open ourselves to see beyond what meets the eye, to see the full, vivid picture. We must allow our hearts to take over to understand the real essence of life itself. That’s what makes things special, that’s what deepens the meaning of our existence and that’s the very idea of not just humanity but the driving power in this world.
Humans have always been social creatures. We’ve lived in groups and moved in groups since the beginning. Our actions are largely governed by society and no matter how much we criticize it, at the end of the day society is us and we are society. In an effort to fit in, to feel accepted, we groom ourselves in a certain way. We start living for the society and try to portray ourselves in the exact same way the ‘society’ deems ideal- an idea that never has and never will exist. In this battle of ours with our true selves, we end up fortifying what we truly are. We hide behind glossed-over facades, plastic fake smiles, sugar-coated words and materialistic grandeur. We adorn ourselves with ‘coolness’ to such a huge extent that the biggest mystery in one’s life becomes their own self. Finding oneself, naked without the endless masks and covers has become one of the most trying task ever that we often give up mid-way. Since we are all hell bent to become what’s ‘ideal’, we forget what we really are and loose much of our originality making us question the validity of the concept of uniqueness. This is where the heart steps in to save the day.
Where the eye stops at what is visible on the exterior, the heart goes beyond, breaking through walls, cutting through the strong winds. When we come across a poor person, all our eyes sees is a dirty, uncivilized person but it is our heart that acknowledges the kindness in his soul, the pain in his condition and values he refuses to loosen his grip upon no matter the condition. It is our heart that urges our soul to be generous to him and help him, it is our heart that aches for him. We see a ‘cool’, confident and funny person and our mind automatically assumes that this person has a perfect life and is completely happy while our heart delves deeper and shows us the cuts and marks across her body. It is our heart that understands that we’re aren’t as shallow as we seem to appear.
In the Little Prince by St. Exupery, the Prince, who was under the impression that the rose he had tended to was the only flower of her species in the entire universe, was confronted with the fact that there were plenty other roses that belonged to the same species as his own rose. He became extremely upset thinking his rose was no longer unique, that there was nothing special in his rose. One day, he came across a fox who let the Prince in on a secret- “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye”. This makes the Prince realize that his rose was indeed unique but it wasn’t because of how the rose looked like but because of the bond the rose and the Prince shared. The relationship that the Prince shared with the flower was nothing pretentious. It ran deep within him. His rose was unique to him because he identified it for not her looks but for her inner self. These bonds are the very origin of strong feelings like love and adoration; responsibility, respect and commitment- the most precious aspects of humans, which is everything but visible to the eye.
Our identity comes with our feelings and thoughts. No matter what happens, that can not be snatched away from us. It’s not our appearance or the way we dress and portray ourselves to the world that make us who we are but it’s our thoughts, our relations with others and how our heart sees the world. We can understand the true nature of something only by associating it with emotions. Emotions give meaning to what happens around us, it is the element that sets apart different situations.
The heart has the enormous power of recognizing pure beauty in all its rawness and honesty. It sees the concealed and the ones who manage to win a peak into it is the one who is blessed. In the words of Khaled Hosseini, ‘Beauty is an enormous, unmerited gift given randomly, stupidly’. Beauty here actually stands for what the eye sees, just the exterior, something that largely depends on the stereotypes set by us, something that we are completely helpless about. However, inner beauty is a whole another story. It is something we can choose to be, something that is reserved to be viewed only by the ones who are ready to see the world in the right way- with their hearts. Such people would always recognize beauty, even in the most adverse situations and this beauty would adorn their lives forever.
In this fast paced life we all are leading, we often forget the meaning of humanity. Slowing down for a moment or two to just look around and see the beauty in everything that lies around you would make you happier and life would suddenly seem a lot more worth living. In John Green’s book, Looking For Alaska, the protagonist, Alaska, poses a question, ‘How will you- you personally- ever get out of this labyrinth of suffering’ wherein she refers to life as the ‘labyrinth of suffering’. I say, by just looking in the right way. Yes, life can be terrible at times, we may face difficult challenges and unfair failures but the goodness of it is contagious and much more mighty. This goodness can only be seen by the heart and only then will we get out of the ‘labyrinth of suffering’ and hop into the rollercoaster of life with a joyful thrill to take the unexpected twists and turns, as they come, with a sack-full of positivity.
H. Jackson Brown, Jr. was, indeed, right. Sometimes the heart does see what is invisible to the eyes. And what’s invisible to the eye is what is the most important in our life.