The unseens are the valuable things in life – The effort you put in every day, the determination to train for that marathon, the timeliness of that statement, the thoughts behind the actions, and the intention behind that smile.
The seens highlight the unseens. They are the trophies to celebrate the winners’ tenacity. The test score to measure academic smarts. The ring you put on for her.
That is what the seens are originally for – A symbol for the truly important unseens.
The sad irony is that we visual creatures become too hooked onto the prestige and glory of the seens. We enroll our children into schools with the most trophies, not the schools who impart the strongest values. We measure employees based on their visible output. We do not care about the member who puts a limb out to help others, nor the one who keeps the team dynamic strong.
I remember a word of console about disappointment. It said that gladiators are strong warriors that wear their battle scars with pride. Those scars represent their past weaknesses. People who live playing it safe will always fear being hurt. It is those who put a chunk of them out there and get ridiculed that become stronger and continue to live their lives courageously.
It seems to me there are always two layers – A facade we put on to be politically correct and socially recognized. The other is our thoughts and feelings we keep to ourselves.
I have no answers myself. This article is meant to be a reflection for me. But I do feel that if we continue to suppress our thoughts and feelings, the facade we put on will continue to diverge from our true selves. One day, we might even forget what is important to us.
I am not saying we should strip away this mask. It’s created in the first place for a reason. It’s for the business settings and the social events.
But in the midst of all these, let’s not forget the meaning behind what we see and measure. The tools for measurements and the symbols for achievements are never perfect and they can never fully represent the unseen amount of effort and emotion behind it.
Sometimes, I remind myself that behind each every cold front is a warm and lonely soul waiting to be understood.