Seeing Through Blind Eyes

I met a man last April in the subway. He was in his 70s and blind. I noticed that he was having some trouble finding his train, so I helped him out. We talked and we exchanged contact information and now, over a year later, that old, blind, stranger is one of my very dear friends. You see, that one simple act of kindness has lead to one of the most meaningful relationships in my life and has been an enlightening force into my ability to not only live in the moment, but also be happy more often.

Now, you may be asking why I bring that up or even more bluntly… who cares? Well, I bring it up, because up until that moment, I never really lived in the now. I rarely lifted my head from my book or smartphone to even realize other people were in the subway, let alone interact with one of them. And up until that moment, I never truly appreciated the act of listening. It was through him that I learned the importance of being in the moment.

My friend has to listen. He doesn’t have the option of distraction, because he can’t see that which distracts most of us. Because of that, he has become a great storyteller and a profound master of living in the moment. He knows what it’s like to focus on nothing but what’s in front of him and his stories reflect a long life of doing so. For the most part he is happy and that happiness is a result of being in the now.

Sure, his blindness intensifies the focus. And sure, his stories have a varying degree of difference from those who have their vision, but strip away all of that and you have a man whose only wish is to have more time to savor more moments. It’s an eye opener to say the least and just by talking with this gentle, kind, elderly man, it’s done wonders for my ability to be happy in the moment more often.

So how does this apply to you? Well, you don’t need a subway or a even a friend whose lost his ability to see to experience this for yourself. What you need is the will to spend more time around your elders. Maybe you have your grandparents, your in-laws, or even live near a retirement home or hospital. Take a day and dedicate it to one person. Not only do they appreciate people taking interest in their lives, but often times your undivided attention is all they need to feel better themselves. And when you do it, take it all the way. Leave your phone at home, pull up a seat and open your ears completely. You just may be surprised how incredible life can be through the words of those who’ve lived it most.

Written by: Aaron Lyles

Brought to you by: silentjourney

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