Vision is more than just sight. Seeing is a gift that accentuates all of our other senses. Being able to see the vibrant or dull colors, various shapes, and multiple textures of food heightens the sense of taste. Whatever qualities appeal to the eyes can lead to the first bite, enhancing the flavors we taste. Hearing a train coming down the railroad tracks or a jackhammer in operation would be a frightening sensation without seeing what is happening. Making a connection between what we hear and see can bring feelings of comfort, fear, joy, excitement and many other emotions. Seeing the steam rise out of a pot of boiling water warns one not to touch, in the same way a “wet paint” sign delivers a cautionary message. In contrast, the sight of a newborn baby or the shimmer of a satin sheet encourages one to reach out and touch. Seeing enhances the sense of smell in that we associate particular smells to objects or experiences at consecutive encounters. The compromise of one of our senses may enhance the acuity of another sense. The blind community compensates for the deficit in a similar way, by sharpening the sense of hearing or touch. For those with visual impairment, corrective lenses or contacts can improve one’s quality of life, allowing the full experience of all senses. Vision augments all of our senses in a way that creates both positive and negative memories.
Theodore Roosevelt said, “Keep your eyes on the stars, and your feet on the ground.” For me, this quote is a motivational statement. For a person entering college for the first time, there is considerable meaning behind his words. First, the eyes must be open to all the possibilities ahead. To keep your eyes on the stars, setting goals is fundamental. It starts with an objective. Upon identifying the objective, one must consider the details in a specific, measurable, action-oriented, realistic, and timely manner. Psychologists call these SMART goals; an acronym formed using the first letters of each adjective. Whatever one aspires to accomplish or achieve will fail without a plan including goals. The stars are a metaphor of ambition that drives one to reach for more, whether tangible or intangible. It could be an object of affection or an abstract thing such as an education or skill. In the second part of the quote, Mr. Roosevelt suggests we keep our feet on the ground. This could mean we need to be aware of limitations or obstacles impeding our attainment of the stars. Keeping the feet on the ground implies that overconfidence can backfire. Personally, it counsels me to maintain principles of morality, humility, and confidence without arrogance throughout my endeavors. To paraphrase, the quote says to me “Set your eyes on a goal, know what you want to gain or achieve, work hard for it, and do not be conceited in the process.”