Leonardo Da Vinci once said
” There are three kinds of people: Those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see. “
It’s one of the deep and thoughtful quotes. I interpret these three kinds of people as follows-
People who are ignorant are the people who do not see. These are the people who think they know almost everything. You can never discuss with them. Every discussion with them is a chance for them to prove themselves right, to satisfy his/her ego. They are the classic example of a fixed mindset people.
Every time someone challenges his/her beliefs, they feel threatened and try to defend themselves via illogical arguments, altercation or mindless debate. In order to protect their beliefs, they prevent themselves from growth, from seeing the bigger picture.
Then there are people who are not completely ignorant but most of the time depends on others to get rid of ignorance. They are open to new ideas, new belief but only when others intend to show them. Most of the time people in this category are a people pleaser. We have been taught from childhood to behave nicely with people, to respect them.
However, in order to become nice to people, sometimes, they become a slave to their own niceness. As their growth in life happens largely due to other people’s suggestions, teachings, and wisdom, people around them play a huge role in their life. If the people around them are great, then it’s good for him/her. However, if people around him/her are not that great or fixed mindset people as above then growth in life halts for them.
But there are also some people who believe in self-learning, grow via introspection. They don’t always depend on other people’s knowledge to broaden their beliefs, mindset. Although they are always ready to learn from others but not heavily dependent on others.
They believe their life is their own responsibility, therefore no scope for a blame game. Overall these are people having a growth mindset and can see the world through their own lens.
Now, what does it mean to see the world through our own lens? Don’t we see the world through our own eyes?
Most often, we are not. From childhood, we are being bombarded with pieces of advice, suggestions, opinions from our parents, friends, relatives and other people that we won’t even question our beliefs which we often perceive from other people.
Tell me honestly why do you think your country is great?
I know you might have a thousand reasons to call your country great.
But think honestly how do you get to know that?
From our teachers at school. From history books.
And who wrote those history books?
How do you know those historians had written the correct facts?
I am not saying what you know is wrong but there is a fundamental difference between inquisitiveness and forming beliefs based on others opinion.
Inquisitiveness allows you to question yourself, to introspect and reflect. It gives you the freedom to think independently, to grow over time.
Whereas, when you form beliefs based on just others knowledge and opinions you put your introspection ability at stake. You prevent your individuality to flourish. You become nothing more than an artificial intelligence which can operate based on the information fed to it.
Just look around you. There are many people who always give you a lot of information, who are always ready to give you suggestions, advice.
But once you ask them why do they think so? What’s the basis of their suggestion?
Rarely they have a valid or logical answer. This is because their suggestions are based on some information they got from the internet, media, magazine etc.
Thus it is utmost important to become the kind of person ‘who can see’ as said by Leonardo Da Vinci.
Now, how do you make sure you become the person who can see? And what are the obstacles in this path? A few I see as problems are as follows-
Lack of Introspection: We are living in a time where most people are busy making their living. People are busy almost all the time, even when they are at home. In this break-neck pace of life who has time to relax and reflect over his/her life. Thus it is no wonder everyone wants to know things at an instant. We don’t even bother about the source from where we are forming opinions or beliefs.
Solution: On average more than 60000 thoughts come to human mind every day whether you realize it or not. To reflect we must be conscious of what we are thinking. Remembering them is almost an impossible job. So write them down on a piece of paper or use Evernote, google keep if you like to write digitally. When you can track your thoughts, you can question your beliefs and where are they coming from. Introspection is a gift to humankind. We must utilize it for our own growth.
Your Background: We have learned morals, dos and dont’s all in our childhood. What is normal for us?
Everything people taught us in childhood or early teenage years like be with good people, spend wisely, don’t talk with strangers, help others etc. became normal for us. So depending on your background, your normal might vary. For some people saving money is a wise decision, whereas for some other people money is meant to spend. Who is right doesn’t matter most.
What matters most is whether you want to question your beliefs embedded in childhood and want to know what is correct and why?
Solution: Your background must not define you. We must take a step back and ask whether what we learned is constructive or destructive? What you believe today as true may not be the same after some time if you are on the path of growth. You must update your values, your beliefs by assessing them with time.
Media: This might shock you but media in today’s world is one of the biggest culprits which is stopping you from seeing the world through your own eyes. Open any news channel, read any magazine, everyone just bombards you with information.
Moreover, not every information you get from the media is trustworthy. Fake news has become propaganda of today’s media. They will do anything to grab your attention. Now imagine if one form beliefs or make opinions just by watching a news clip or reading an article somewhere. This is the sure shot pathway to ignorance. Alexander Pope rightly said long back-
Solution: ‘Knowledge is power’ but to get that knowledge you have to become inquisitive. If you are really interested to know something don’t just rely on a news channel, youtube channel or an article on the internet. Go as deep as possible on that topic.
My suggestion to you would be read good books. Unlike a news clip or short article writing a good book take years of research for an author. Reading books will definitely expand your mind.
Ultimately the point is, when you have adequate knowledge, no one can manipulate you.
Your companions: People with whom you spend most of your time affects you to a great deal. People might help you to grow as an individual or they might impose their opinions, beliefs on you. Some people always come with complain as if the whole world is against them. These are examples of victim personality. Stay away from such negative people.
Solution: Choose your companions carefully. Most importantly learn to say No to people who retards your growth. Stick to people who respect your individuality and help you to grow.
Conclusion: Most people in this world is trying to show you the world as they see the world. What is good for someone can be worst for you. You are one individual among more than 7,000,000,000 people.
Therefore, you must grow to such an extent that you don’t need other eyes to see the world. You must see the world through your personal lens. That is much more fulfilling.
Have a joyful week. Until next time -Joy