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Susan Wells, an English and Journalism teacher at Memorial High School in Cedar Grove, in 1981. (Photo: Memorial High School yearbook.)

The O’Toole Chronicles: ‘The Eyes are the Window to the Soul’

By Kevin O'Toole, September 29 2020 5:00 am

I remember my high school English teacher, Ms. Wells, talking to the class about the eyes being the starting point to see a true intention or to understand the individual. Ms. Wells, presumably quoting William Shakespeare, told the class that “ the eyes are the window to the soul.” Now, whether it be Ms. Wells, William Shakespeare, or the Roman Philosopher, Cicero, who said “the face is the picture of the mind, as the eyes are the interpreter,” perhaps it is now time to sit back and try and understand our fellow human being and see the world from the eyes of others.

In this day in age we are all wearing masks, not metaphorically speaking, but masks, scarves, or some sort of face covering. As we walk into a supermarket, a gas station, a hospital ward, or stroll through the park, everyone is wearing a mask. I would offer a suggestion view others as they go about their busy day. Take this time to peer into the eyes of others and try and feel what they feel. As your observe our fellow human beings and focus on their eyes, here is some of what you see:

Anxiety
Fear
Sadness
Hope
Gentleness
Anger
Depression
Kindness
Warmth
Generosity
Rage
Understanding
Sympathy
Jealousy
Helplessness

I have long maintained that the hardest lesson in life is to see yourself through the eyes of others. Politicians often get a sneak peek at this life lesson when they see themselves on TV or on a Video, it is alarming the first few times you see how you sound, look, body posture, and all your quirks are on full display.

Given the way we are currently living, I would humbly suggest that we take this time to listen to one another, be kind, be sympathetic and be open minded, more to the point—take this time to look in the eyes of others, really look into them and see if you can feel or touch their soul.

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