Last Saturday at Farpoint I went to dinner with some friends and their pre-school aged daughter.
As we drove up York Road, the preschooler pointed to the west. “Look! A water tower! It’s so small!”
I’ve worked in the area for the past ten years. Yet this was the first time I’d really noticed the water tower in the Timonium-Cockeysville area. It took a preschooler to point it out, and now that I’ve seen it I can’t unsee it.
I drive to work, and I see it from the Shawan Road exit on 83. I step out of the office’s main entrance, and I see it. I walk to Wawa for a sandwich at lunchtime, and I see it.
It was always there, yet it never registered. It wasn’t important. It didn’t merit notice.
The lesson here is that as we grow up, we teach our minds to filter out the unimportant things. Or rather, what we think are unimportant. “This doesn’t affect me directly, so I don’t need to see this.” It’s not just water towers. It’s the homeless person suffering from hunger in the cold. It’s the child from the abusive household. It’s the elderly person who lives alone and struggles to buy groceries and maintain her home. It’s the refugee from a war-torn land. These things are around us every day, they’re right in front of our eyes for us to see, and yet we miss them, even me.
A preschooler sees everything automatically; to her, everything is important, and everything merits notice. It’s all there for us to see, we just have to have the wisdom and awareness to see it, to see the world with a preschooler’s eyes.
All it took was a water tower.