Years ago when I attended college, my professor wanted to see where our heads were before she started the class. She asked all of us to introduce ourselves and once we were done, she wrote a quote on the white board.
“What is essential is invisible to the eye.”
She looked around the room and told us that this quote was going to be our first homework assignment. It was not going to be graded so there was no pressure on getting the wrong answer. All she wanted us to do is give us a few sentences of what we believed this quote meant to us.
The following morning, all of the students were seated with their papers out and the professor was standing quietly at the front of the classroom with a smile on her face. Nobody said a word and she just looked around. After a few minutes, she pointed at a young man and asked him to stand up and explain what the quote meant to him. He had probably the simplest of answers. His response was a few sentences about how it referred to air, and that even though we can’t see it, its extremely important.
The professor gave him a nod of approval and then picked somebody else. This time it was a young female. Her response was very different but still had the same meaning. Air. By now I was feeling extremely self conscious. Fearful that I did what I always did, overthought the question. So I knelt in my seat and hoped that she wouldn’t call on me. Of course, I was the next that she called on. Standing up, this is what I said.
“What is essential is invisible to the eye” means a lot more than air. Yes it is very important and yes we can’t see it but I don’t think that that was the quote’s meaning. What I feel that quote means is that everything that is essential to life can’t be physically seen. You can show love but you cant see it like an actual object. You can show confidence but you can’t physically look and see it like a parked car. Everything that we need in life can be shown but none of it can be seen physically through your eyes. Essentials such as self-growth, having morals, integrity, honesty, confidence, happiness, etc. Without any of these invisible traits, who would we be as a species? That’s why the invisibles are so essential.”
It was extremely hard to do but she had a wide smile and said that that was the response that she was looking for. Ever since that day, I have lived by that quote. I have actually planned on eventually getting it tattooed on me for a reminder but haven’t because its embedded in my head but the meaning still sticks.
We wouldn’t be much of anything if we didn’t realize what is essential. Ask yourself that question and look in the mirror. What are some essentials that you have always needed in your life that you can’t physically see? Have you gone through traumas and overcome them in ways that you never expected until you looked back and thought about it? Have you made some internal changes that helped you become a better person? Were there things that you have done that didn’t fit your morals, whether it was an action or even a thought?
Now lets change the tone a little bit. What we can physically see is rarely an essential need. Today people seem like they are always going through a rough time. Why is that? Is it because they are chasing money? The nice cars? The people? The objects that we can physically see tend to come far from what we need.
Some have argued with me and said that we need food and shelter, but unless taught, we will catch ourselves eating things that are bad for us. I can name quite a few people who have money for days. Money that is handed to them but aren’t happy. People who have nice cars and nice houses but are miserable. Is it because they don’t have good morals. Many of these people got their money because of the lack of integrity and honesty and in a blink of an eye it all can be taken away whether it was from somebody who they thought they could trust. The thing that they wanted was affected because the essential that was needed wasn’t seen such as trust.
Once the objects are gone, the essentials will still remain out of sight and remain internal. I’ve learned that the essentials in are truly invisible to the eyes. Even though it can be shown, it may not be real. As long as you work on the essentials that you can not see, everything that you want will come into your physical view. It may not be in the way that you expected to see it, but it will still be there the way that you need it.