It’s Not What You See

by Sherry Riter in Love,Self-Development  

We look.

We see.

We judge.

Often we judge someone
or a situation by using only our eyes.

Then we make the critical mistake
because we think we know how another feels
and we say
“Oh, I know exactly how you feel.”

That is incorrect.
You may have experienced a similar situation,
but since we are all so different
in all the other aspects of our experiences,
circumstance and personality,
there is no real way to
“know exactly”
how another person feels.

For example:

Look at this tiny tree standing in the dark.


Do you know where it is located?

Do you know how tall it stands?

Do you know the temperature outside?


All you can tell is that:

There are a few brown leaves.
It is a skinny tree.
It is dark outside.
There is a street light in the distance.

Time passes and I begin to trust you
because we spend more time together,
so I show you more of the picture.

tree in the snow

Suddenly, you know that the tree stands in snow.

Do you know how much snow?

Do you know how long it has stood in snow?

Do you know where the tree is yet?

You can assume that the temperature is cold,
but you still don’t know how cold.

Maybe we never get any closer
or spend any more time together,
so you never know anything more
about the little tree.

But then again,
maybe you make the effort
to love me and sacrifice for me,
and I begin to trust you a little more.
I start to feel comfortable and
I’m willing to show you more of the picture.

tree in lots of snow

Now you know there is a lot more snow
than you ever dreamed of,
but you still do not know…

Where is the tree located?

How much snow is there?

How tall is the tree?

What if the tree were you?

What if the tree is me?

Maybe you are in my family
or maybe you are my spouse
or best friend
and you think you know
everything about me,
the skinny tree
standing in the dark
and in the snow.

You piece together the pictures
and you are sure that
“you know exactly”
how I feel.

But you don’t know exactly how I feel
I don’t know exactly how you feel.
I can empathize,
and be of service to you.
We can share,
Facebook post,
talk on the phone,
work together,
eat together,
watch movies together,
and share the human experience,
but we won’t ever know exactly
how each other feels.
if we do not make the time to
listen to each other,
sacrifice for each other,
talk to each other
share the human experience with each other,
we won’t even come close to
understanding each other.

So piece the pictures together
of the skinny little tree
standing in the dark
in the deep,

tree in deep snow

Think you know everything now?

Where is the tree located?

How tall is the tree?

What is the temperature outside?

Moral of the story:

It’s not just what you see.
Take the time to get to know others

and let them get to know you,
but never judge them
because you’ll never
how anyone feels

just as they won’t
how you feel either.

That’s where love starts.

The Redhead Riter


This post was written by...

Sherry Riter is also known as The Redhead Riter. Sherry is witty, intelligent and addictive as she writes about cooking, family, marriage, failures, blogging tips, art, humor, inspiration, travel, PTSD and aging. Her goal is to inspire, motivate, educate and to make her audience laugh. Sherry embraces being a redhead and helps others to see the redhead point of view…"In some eras redheads were worshipped while others thought us witches. Personally, I like the former and think every day is 'Love a redhead day!'" She can also be found on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Linkedin, tweeting as @TheRedheadRiter and you can subscribe to her free blog feed.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Adriana Iris December 29, 2010 at 5:52 am

Lovely Thanks!


2 Jacqui December 29, 2010 at 4:21 pm

I really love this post, thanks for sharing with us all


3 mimito5 December 29, 2010 at 7:30 pm

You're soooo "rite", Red! Nobody can fully understand what another has gone through unless they have been through that door. And even then, each experience is a unique one. Thank you for bringing this important thought for us to "conjure" on today 🙂 Kathy


4 Dee December 29, 2010 at 11:30 pm

Well done…and gets the point across. You are very creative.


5 Bev December 30, 2010 at 6:18 pm

This post was very thought provoking and the photography added tremendously to the piece. Indeed, the moral of the story touches many aspects of our daily lives. Thank you.


6 Doreen Lombardo December 30, 2010 at 10:35 pm

This is just perfect. So many are so quick to assume, to judge or to think they understand how others feel and often with very little information. Or, they don't want to hear the truth, they want only to believe what they want to believe. The bottom line is, you are 100% correct. There's still so much you just don't know and sometimes never will. I only tell others what I want them to know, in fact, sometimes I tell them things intentionally because of what I don't want them to know… hmmmmm. And no, I'm not talking about lying. I'm talking about having them think they know something but knowing that in reality, they aren't even close. Sometimes, people have very good reason for that.


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