After undergoing cataract surgery on my right eye, my perception of the world has drastically changed. Before the procedure, I had grown accustomed to a yellow-brown tint that clouded my vision. But now, with my newly implanted lens, I see the world in a fresh light.
The colors are vibrant, with clouds appearing white and the sky a bright blue. However, when I close my right eye, the world reverts to its old hue, with clouds taking on a dirty yellow shade and the sky becoming grayish-green. It’s a fascinating realization that my brain had adjusted to the cataracts and created a new normal.
This experience raises the question of what reality truly is. Is it an objective state independent of our senses, or is it inherently subjective, shaped by the way each individual perceives it? As author Ed Yong suggests in his book “An Immense World,” every creature lives in its own universe, its own “Umveldt.” Thus, reality is both subjective and incomplete.
The stark contrast between my two “Umveldts” is illuminating. If I were to walk with a friend and they commented on the blue sky, it would lead to a disagreement. While my eyes see grayish-green, my brain tells me that it is blue. However, if I solely relied on my eyes, no one could convince me otherwise.
This experience highlights that we all see through our own lenses. If we were able to see through multiple lenses simultaneously, we could potentially solve many of the world’s problems. This perspective would allow us to consider the impact of our actions on other lives, draw boundaries that consider the communities they affect, distribute tasks more equitably, and show empathy instead of blame.
In a similar vein, I used to use a magic egg in my therapy practice to encourage couples to see different perspectives. When one person held the egg, they had the floor to express their thoughts while the other person actively listened and repeated back what they understood. This exercise fostered understanding and opened doors for improved communication.
The lesson I’ve learned from my cataract surgery is to pay attention to the differences. By acknowledging and accepting these differences, we can gain new insights and work towards a more collaborative and understanding world.
– Cataract: A clouding of the lens in the eye, causing blurry or hazy vision.
– Umveldt: A term coined by author Ed Yong to describe the unique subjective universe experienced by each creature.
Source: Article based on personal experience and reflections, no URL available.