Looking and Seeing

I meditated today upon the idea of oversight, and of course two distinctly different meanings came to mind. An oversight can be something we’ve overlooked, a little detail that’s slipped past our awareness, a momentary lapse in concentration. Or, oversight can be supervision, having someone standing above us, watching — and hopefully guiding — our actions.

The best way to understand the differences for me was to replaced SIGHT with different words.

Over-LOOK

Over-SEE

Is there a difference between looking and seeing?  Indeed, I believe there is a big difference. How often do we look but not see? To look can imply that we’re searching, and we don’t see until we’ve found what we’re looking for.

I play a lot of “hidden object” games, and I spend a lot of time looking for things without seeing where they’ve been cleverly hidden by the game developers. Once I use one of my precious hints to reveal the item’s location, I can clearly see it, of course.

All of this thinking about looking and seeing led me to consider the importance of the words we use. Whether we are speaking or writing, our words are powerful tools and should be used with care.

From the Bible we learn that “In the beginning was the word…” and creation does truly begin when our thoughts take form through words.

The words we speak to others are powerful; the words we speak to ourselves are powerful, as well. Words can build up; words can tear down. Words can heal; words can hurt.

Let us always be mindful of the words we choose. Let us learn words, understand their meanings, and use them in constructive ways.

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