While getting a new drivers license at the DMV recently, I overheard a conversation. An older employee with soft brown eyes was encouraging an anxious 16-yr-old: “Just relax. Step away for a moment and try again”. The nervous teen took a deep breath and leaned forward to read the eye chart through the binocular-like device on the counter. “I still only see five letters”, he moaned.
The man nodded his head. “You’re not alone”, he said. I’ve been seeing a lot of this lately. We’re losing our peripheral vision. We spend too much time looking at TVs, computer screens and cell phones. You’ll need to go to the eye doctor before you can come back. I’m sorry.” Then he sat back, smiled gently and gave his last instruction. “Do you know what I recommend? Go outside once in awhile without your phone. Pay attention to the bigger things that are happening all around you. You can train yourself to see more again.”
Wow. I’d never heard of this physical side effect of our modern day tunnel vision. What great advice for this young man (and for all of us)! Step back once in awhile. Pay attention to the periphery. Why? These things don’t just “sit” there. They actually tell us things. They offer solutions to our biggest concerns. But we have to be willing to soften our gazes, to expand the view. Do it. You’ll see more clearly. Thank you, Mr. DMV man.