Looking is a physical act; seeing is a mental process of perception. Seeing involves recognizing or connecting the information the eyes take in with your previous knowledge and experiences in order to create meaning. (From “The Toledo Museum “)
The above definition was referring to art but it can also relate to every day life.
Are you looking at something or seeing something? An example – as the sun sets are you looking at it or seeing it for all its beauty?
The other night when I was down by the pier, I noticed a lot of people (myself included) were looking at the sunset, waiting for the perfect picture. I don’t believe any of us were seeing the sunset- simply looking at it.
My phone’s battery was running low so in order to preserve it for the journey home, I turned it off and put it away. In that moment, as I looked up, I saw the sunset and it’s beauty as it set slowly into the water (okay I know it wasn’t going into the water, that was the perception of it). I saw it, and took in the beauty, all the while listening to others saying oh look at this shot I got, as they shared their phones with others. It seemed like hardly anyone was seeing the sun setting, merely looking for a picture.
I’ve told myself this before and I need to make a habit of not having my phone ready all the time to take pictures- I want to see everything around me, not simply look for a good picture.
Has anyone else noticed this? Do you make a conscious effort to see what’s around you and not merely look around?