The story of Paw-Paw

My grandfather, Charlie, or Paw-Paw as I knew him, was an accomplished carpenter. In fact, he was responsible for building many of the bar tops that still operate in New Orleans today. He was a man that knew what his purpose was, and he lived it religiously. Paw-Paw would get so involved in his work, that he even lost a few fingers in his time! Of course that was in the day of less safety equipment, with guards on saws, or even eye protection. One of the things I remember so clearly about my grandfather, was that he couldn’t see clearly at all.
This was for a couple of reasons. For one, my grandfather had an accident as a child when he lost vision in one of his eyes. It was a firearm accident, in which gun powder found it’s way into his left eye. As tragic of a story this is for his left eye, the right eye has a more humorous reason for decreased clarity.
You see, the right eye worked rather well. Charlie did need prescription glasses for a simple case of nearsightedness, however the true cause for his lack of clarity in his right eye, was that he always had sawdust on his glasses. Let me explain…
Not just a little sawdust, it would be obvious to anyone within 20 feet. The sun wouldn’t need to hit the lens just right to see the dust, and grime. No, this layer of dust would require the type of cleaning that would need much more than a shirt-tail to get the job done. To clean his lenses would require moisture to get through the soiled lenses! The phenomenon truly would baffle me, and still does to this day.
Imagine this:
You have one eye that you can use to see, on this one eye, you have to wear glasses. One would think that this last eye would be seen for what it truly was: The last opportunity to be able to see the world in which you live! I’d venture to say that I would pamper this right eye beyond all measure. I would treat that eye like it was the most vulnerable part of my body. And yet, Paw-Paw would literally get into his life’s work of carpentry, thus ignoring this main form of input to the human experience. Paw-Paw would deny his only hope of sight, a clean lens in which to see. His life experience, already dulled by 50%, would decrease even further.

Do you see a comparison to your life?

So many of us experience life with dirty lenses. The lens I am referring to is your nerve system. The truth is that your nerve system can work dirty. In fact, it can get quite a bit done, if it has a little dirt on it. But here is where your life becomes limited. You get acclimated to the dirty lens. Slowly throughout your life, the dirt and dust and grime of your life’s work builds up. Your confused, you never “saw” it coming. Your life was limited, and you didn’t even notice.

Sometimes it takes a different perspective. Sometimes it takes a friend to tell you to clean your lens. Believe me, they can’t see the dust. You will have to wipe it off for them. And when you do, they will be so very thankful, but that’s not why we do it. We clean the lens because it’s the right thing to do. We clean the lens because we care, because we know that only through a clean lens can the body actually work the way it was designed.

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