I always wear my sunglasses each time I leave the house. In this part of the world where most of the time the sun shines so bright, a pair of sunglasses is indispensable. They also have become accessories that young people wear even indoors or at night. They now come in different styles and different colors. Aside from being protective shades, our sunglasses fill other needs.
When I’m outdoors and I put on my sunglasses, the world takes on a different color. The sun doesn’t seem so glaring and I don’t squint as much when I look around. In time I learned my shades don’t just block the glare of the sun. I put them on when I don’t feel like talking to people that I might meet along the way. With my shades on, I can always pretend that I didn’t see them. When travelling on the bus, it is good to have my shades on, just in case an unwelcome stranger wants to talk. They seem to send the message: leave me alone.
But when I have them on and I look at the sky, it doesn’t look as blue as it really is, when I look at the leaves, they’re not so green. When I look at people’s faces they’re dark and hazy.
Maybe our sunglasses are like our prejudices and biases. We put them on for people we don’t like, take them off for people we do like. They prevent us from seeing people as they really are. Sometimes, when we regard people, we choose only to see what we wish to see; we listen only to what we want to hear. We put on our sunglasses to dim the world; hence we don’t see its real beauty.
We use our sunglasses because we want to avoid the glaring sun. We want to view the world within their comfort and protective shade. Just like the way we relate with people sometimes. Distant. Reserved. Afraid – of getting too close, of letting people into our comfort zones, of letting people see our vulnerabilities. They say the eyes are the windows to our souls. And so we put on our sunglasses to hide our true selves from other people.
So, next time you’re outdoors, take off your sunglasses. When you do, you will see a sky that’s bluer; the leaves on the trees are greener. Take off your sunglasses, and the smiles on people’s faces are so much clearer, so much happier.
And the sun?
Sometimes, it is good to let our defences down and let people into our lives, people close to us. We might get singed a little bit. We might end up feeling rejected and disappointed but it’s still okay. Many harsh judgments have been made out of ignorance. Many unkind words have been said because people don’t understand … because we hide our true selves from them. Maybe people would be less hasty to judge us if we just take off our protective shades and let them know of our frailties and weaknesses.
And when you do find someone who understands, consider yourself blessed.
– Lani Estepa