As I glance at the number 2020 on the brand new calendar, the vision-related term for normal visual acuity 20/20 comes to mind. 20/20 vision is not perfect eyesight, it is a level of how well a person can identify letters and numbers printed on a standardized eye chart from a particular viewing distance.
In urban lingo 20/20 means perfection or an idealized version of reality as in, “She was seeing 20/20 last week, but then she got a wake-up call when her boyfriend broke up with her.”
To me 20/20 is somewhere in between perfection and the urban definition. I think of it as normality. It is a condition that is personally elusive. I’ve worn eyeglasses most of my life due to myopia and astigmatism in both eyes. I read books without the need for glasses, but must slip glasses onto my nose in order to see everything else clearly. The astigmatism is caused by irregular curvature of my eyes’ lenses causing blurred vision. Personally speaking, 20/20 vision is something I’ve long wished to have but is unattainable without surgery or eyeglasses.
Now that the year 2020 has arrived, I wonder about the possibilities of the country and the world attaining some semblance of normalcy. Goodness knows that our civilization is in perpetual crisis mode. The vision analogy can be useful regarding the world’s status.
There is the myopia of being very tradition-oriented. Some people relate as in hyperopia or long-sightedness–they are optimistic and idealize the future. A precious few people have 20/20 vision and effectively relate to the present time. We all have some sort of mental astigmatism which is the subjective condition of how we filter our experiences and what we choose to pay attention to.
In the year to come, we will inaccurately see certain aspects of events and the ways of the world. These inaccuracies will cause us to make mistakes. If we have the vision to recognize our mistakes, we can alter course. In this way it’s possible to learn to tweak our subjective view and see things from different angles. In this way we can mature, have new experiences, challenge ourselves, fortify our compassion, and become more well-rounded.
Being in the year 2020 is an ideal time to take stock in the state of the world in relation to the state of oneself. Are we able to tone down intolerance in the world by being more tolerant of differences? Can we see beyond our own self-interests? Can we plan for a better future without losing sight of the present moment? We might figuratively need eyeglasses that compensate for near-sightedness, long-sightedness, and distorted personal visions. Some 20/20 vision might be just the way to see our way through the year 2020.
Have a positive, constructive, happy 2020.