Seeing is Believing. Eh?

The fruit of my evening reflection.

Seeing is believing.

We love this principle even though we might not profess it outright. We decide that a certain restaurant is an appropriate place to dine only after we have first experienced the ambience and enjoyed the food. We might want to send our kids to a particular school or coaching only after being convinced of the reputation of the institution. Yes, we want the best deal for the money we spend and the time we devote and so we are only satisfied once we are tangibly assured of goodness.

The problem is in the use of terms.

Seeing is believing is a contradiction because the latter implies something we do not yet perceive or understand. For instance, one believes in God or one believes in afterlife or one believes that the year ahead will be a successful one. Once you experience the object you believe in, you no longer believe but rather you know it. For instance, I believe that another country, let’s say the Philippines, is a lovely country with kind and sensitive people. Now, once I go to the Philippines, stay for a while and relate to the people out there, I through my tangible and sensory experience have gotten to know that the country is lovely and the people kind and sensitive.

So, let’s say seeing is knowing.

Though seeing is believing is not logically true, the opposite is what concerns me: Believing is seeing.

IMHO, we need to believe in order that we may see. No, it’s not something one links with religion. It’s what life asks of us so that we may draw the best from ourselves and others. We ought to cultivate three beliefs: self-belief, belief in others and belief in God (or whatever subjective equivalent). Self-belief induces confidence which helps us perform, transform and be innovative. Belief in others helps us to trust people that they will do their best and of course be humane. Belief in God allows us to find purpose ordained for each of us in this huge wide universe and also realise that all experiences, good or bad, have a purpose.

When we believe, we see miracles. Think of the invention of the airplane. Some people believed they could fly and worked towards it. Now we know that we can fly. A thousand other inventions – the computer, internet, telephones etc – reiterate the same phenomenon namely that what was conceived as a construct of the mind is encountered tangibly through perseverance that stems from unshakable belief.

The act of believing entails openness – from oneself and also from others. We aim higher, we trust the other much more and that is not just a matter of the mind (like knowing) – Believing is the matter of the heart. The openness we invest in our belief is paid with interest and more in the positiveness, goodness and the success we recieve. Yes, we make the world wonderful by our belief.

In a special manner, educators, elders and all those who have persons entrusted to your care need to exercise belief in their sub-ordinates. Trust them and you will be rewarded not only with material success but you will build a wonderful relationship. Ultimately, all success is useless unless it enhances our humanity i.e. our social relations.

Believing is seeing. Believe in yourself, in others and God, and perhaps you will experience the fullness of life.




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