Something has been on my mind for a while: the way we readily judge with our eyes. If something looks good to us, we like it. If it doesn’t appeal to our eyesight we express no opinion of it, dismiss it. Do we ever stop to consider how it makes someone else feel when we don’t say something kind or don’t recognize their effort, and bravery in sharing it?

10 Jan 2016–a fun, loose sketch.

Not long ago I showed some samples of my Weave-it squares to a male acquaintance. Each square was woven with the same pattern; only the color choices and sequence of use varied. (See photo below.)

Four squares, same pattern, different color combinations.

Four squares–same pattern, different color combinations.

It may seem obvious that there is a clear favorite among the four: the lower right green-and-light-green square. I would agree it looks the best, but also I know it isn’t. Each square took the same amount of time and effort to weave. Each was an experiment and a learning experience. Each has the same potential to be useful.

Why isn’t everything that’s useful also beautiful? I can’t answer that. But I know how I felt when my friend pointed to the green square, ignoring all the others (and possibly all I’d said about the educational experience I’d had in making them all), and said, “I really like that one.”

I know I’m guilty of doing this too, but I’m trying to change, trying to learn to not be dismissive, to appreciate the efforts of others¬†as much as I can. And I’m trying to learn to give¬†compassionate praise, “Wow, what a lot of work you’ve done. Those are great. Thanks for showing me your work”–trying to get ME out of THEIR picture.

“The Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7).

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