The Eye of the Beholder

By Michael Armijo

   It was a warm yet windy day filled with strong sorrow. The air reflected a deep sense of respect as people gathered to say goodbye to a friend whose spirit had left the earth. As everyone gathered, the vibrant wooden casket lay atop the ground as the family gathered closely around. The youngest boy, a young man, gazed at the casket while tears of sorrow flowed from his swollen eyes. He walked up and lay his cheek on top of the hard, shiny, wooden box, as his white-gloved hands gently caressed the top of the last home his fathers’ body would ever have. He layed gentle kisses on the top of the casket, as his unconditional love reflected in front of all those who watched. A gentle whisper is heard a row back; “did you see that? how sad.”

   When I heard those words; “how sad,” I felt something deep inside that disagreed. Something that didn’t see the message of sadness when the boy showed his respect to his loved one. Instead, I saw an act of love. A love so strong, it displayed the true meaning of unconditional love. Something deep inside that didn’t care if the world looked on or what people felt. A feeling of purity, of joy, of strength.

   I believe the old saying; “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” I believe we all see life in a certain light, and sometimes, in a certain darkness.

   I also believe that when we express the darkness that surrounds our lives, it spreads like a contagious and cancerous disease. It attaches by simple contact, clings like a dependent child, and deteriorates in a short amount of time.

   I’ve learned that opinions are only perceptions of a person’s immediate thinking, and reflections of someone’s inner self. What we see is usually what we feel, what we feel deep inside. Without realizing it, we express past experiences, deep histories, our insecurities of our future; we reflect the perception of our own lives.

   I also believe that when we see life in its darkest hour, we do have the opportunity to see life through the brightest light. For some it’s a short path traveled to a place inside that holds our mind hostage from our heart. For others, it’s a level of confidence that sits deep within that has been damaged by a careless act from an irresponsible adult.

   I believe that the true meaning of life can only be understood through the light of beauty and the inner joy that sets deep in our hearts. I believe the vision of what will come can only be seen through the eyes of a believer. I feel the truest form of emotion can only be felt when a person can feel the presence of a higher power, a stronger entity, something or someone greater than ourselves.

   I understand that life is not always what it intends itself to be, it changes moods like a spoiled child. But I also understand that life can be what we want it to be; all we have to do is apply our hearts in front of our minds. Following what we truly feel and not what we think we see, is the only way to put aside our petty angry thoughts and our insignificant bitterness. Because just as the boy who helped bury his only father, the tears that flow from our swollen eyes are tears of love that can only be seen when beauty is in the eye of the beholder.