The blindness of being judgmental, and the power of personal presence
A couple of weeks ago, I watched an old classic “Scent of a Woman”, starring Al Pacino and Chris O’Donnell. It’s about a blind man, retired Lt. Colonel Frank Slade, who is not only physically blind, but is also blind to a lot of things in life. He spends a weekend with his young guide Charlie Simms, a young college kid. Although his physical blindness remained, that experience amazingly completely changed the surly Colonel’s outlook on life, and he began to see things in life he previously couldn’t.
This movie is one of the most masterful and powerful artistic illustrations of the ability to change people’s life through the power of personal presence.
The way we grow up and mature as humans is by forming judgments about the world. We observe the world around us, but we are not merely neutral observers. Depending on whether certain experiences are perceived as pleasurable or traumatic, harmful or beneficial, we assign different emotional values to an array of events and experiences. Also, depending on our upbringing, we adopt large portions of the worldview of our family – parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, etc.