Julee and I watched a new “Prime” movie last night called “The Electrical Life of Louis Wain.” Based on a true story, it was a very quirky movie, but we enjoyed it immensely. The main character, Louis, struggles greatly at fitting in to the culture in which he is born into, but he is helped when love comes into his life, along with a simple, single word of encouragement that changes everything: “Look…” Just, “Look…”
“Looking” could easily have been included in Little Book of Virtues! It is related to, closely tied to other virtues such as “Sense of Wonder,” “Perspective,” “Equanimity,” “Gentleness,” “Goodness,” “Gratitude,” “Joy,” “Listening,” “Mindfulness,” and more. Julee and I had a little “fight” a couple of days ago in which I (stupidly) said some unkind things out of frustration which made Julee feel hurt and insecure. When I looked into her face, I saw the same 15 year old girl that I met and fell in love with…and told her so along with my apology…and we quickly resolved the situation. My perspective changed…”when I LOOKED…into her face.”
The painting above is called “The Presence,” and it is a favorite of mine; a print hangs on the wall in our dining room. I encourage you to look at it, really look at it and into it, and use the comments section at the bottom of this page to tell me what you see! It speaks so loudly to me, and I have spent a lot of time just staring at it. I want to be a person who “Looks,” really looks, with eyes to see (as well as ears to hear.) How about you?
Really, “Looking” is the purpose behind Little Book of Virtues. Looking at (contemplating) 52 of the virtues that make up a life-culture different from the one we find ourselves in, which leads naturally to actions that line up with that new culture. Just as truly looking changed the life of Louis Wain.
What a lovely reminder to all pf us to be more aware. In a world focussed on bigger, better, faster, we so often forget to slow down in order to really look, and really listen.