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When You Cannot See It for Yourself


Gail Oliver Cambridge | April 1, 2021

Wearing Blinders?


Has anyone ever told you that you can’t see what’s right in front of your nose? What is it about our human nature that prevents us from recognizing something that’s obvious to others? There are many examples of this phenomenon, including the simple one about searching for an item that’s in plain sight. If I’m to replace “item” with “person,” whoa, this takes the concept to a whole new level. You may have been in a position where you observed a boss overlooking the worker who has been quietly performing, a teacher ignoring the child who’s thriving under unconventional methods, or a parent disregarding the stellar efforts of his least favorite child. Did you intervene? There was a guy whose girlfriend treated him badly — she played with his emotions and would patronize and insult him in the presence of company. Humiliating a person is a form of verbal abuse, but he didn’t see it this way and would make excuses for her behavior. When friends found out that she cheated, they told him. He confronted her, and whatever she told him (lied or apologized) didn’t impact their relationship. The friends were besides themselves. They couldn’t believe he fell for her wiles and wanted to shake the living daylights out of him. Love is blind. How do you get through to someone like this? Then there’s the teenager who sneaks out of his home and skips classes to hang out with irresponsible friends, getting into all sorts of trouble. His family knows he’s heading down a wrong path. How would you handle such a situation? The father sent the boy to a boot camp and he returned a changed person. He couldn’t stop talking about things he’d learned. As the father listened, he wanted to scream, “But I’ve been telling you this all the time!” However, he swallowed his pride, thankful that someone had gotten through to his son.

Sometimes it takes someone who’s not close to the situation to play a pivotal role in clearing our minds. You may have been nodding in agreement as you read the stories above because you know of a person in a similar position. However, have you ever been the one who was blind to the obvious solution in front of you? How did you react? Were you able to even acknowledge that you missed the signs?

So many questions in this blog! My hope is that you do some self-reflection. Perhaps, right now, someone may be trying to shine a light in an area of your life that you need to examine and address. It’s time to take off the blinders!

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