Sunday was Mother’s Day or Mothering Day in the United Kingdom where my daughter Anna and grandson Joey live. Four-year-old Joey is an action oriented guy; he isn’t very interested in art. He’d rather ride his bike fast or race cars on an imaginary speedway. Still, he created a large, yellow, blue and brown portrait of his mum, which he held with pride at his school’s Mothers Day assembly.
When I showed Joey’s seven-year-old cousin, Ben who lives in Rockville, Maryland, a photo of Joey’s art on Face Time, he said, “That’s very good work. It looks like George Washington.”
Although we adults chuckled, and this story may be repeated in the family for years, what stays with me is something deeper; the pearl of great price–that we all looked at the same art with different eyes. As the Talmud says, “We see things not as they are, but as we are.”
Ben’s honest, unbridled appreciation of his younger cousin’s creation and his affirmation of Joey helped me see and celebrate the excellence he saw.
How often do I see only a fraction of the beauty that others and the world around me offer so freely? Bias, habit and judgment keep me locked into a single viewpoint. I want to hang on to the eyes wide-open perspective and wisdom of Ben’s spontaneous appreciation as I move through the day ahead.
© Joanne Klassen