What Do People See In Your Eyes?

Very few of you have seen me in person so you’ll have to take my word that those are my eyes below.

I am told they change slightly when I am angry, tired or very happy but I don’t know how to describe those changes in a way that you would understand.

Not like my father’s eyes which are always blue, but can get icy when he is angry. That particular glare is one you don’t forget, regardless of whether you are related to him or not.

Though I don’t have an ounce of regret for not being among the blue-eyed people in my family (there are many) I would like to have the same glare as he does, it can be quite useful.


What Do Children See In Your Eyes?

When my children were quite little and had chocolate covered fingers that they claimed could not have been from the bowl of pudding besides them they would hear me say, “I can see the truth in your eyes.”

It was always followed by a pause for effect and an opportunity to reconsider their story.

“Are you sure you didn’t put your fingers in the pudding that is right next to you.”

It didn’t take them long to figure out it was almost never  a question. Nor did it take them long to understand what we meant when we said it is easier to tell the truth.

As they got older and life got more complicated I saw them begin to understand that sometimes the truth wasn’t black and white and they figured out that parts and pieces of it might be withheld, bent, molded and adjusted so the circle fit inside the square.

I didn’t particularly enjoy seeing them figure that out because it always meant another piece of their innocence was stripped away.

For example, when they were told we had to move and asked if there was anything that could be done the truth was there were things that could be done to stop us from having to move.

There were more steps that could be taken and more opportunities that might lead to a more preferable outcome.

But my truth was different.

I was done with the banks not giving me a definitive answer. I was done fighting to hold onto something that felt like an albatross around my neck and would probably not provide the sort of return on investment that would make it worth winning that particular battle.

The only way to stop dancing in the fire was to stop allowing people to pour gasoline across my head and to take a different path.


There will come a time where I will tell them there might have been a way to make it work and offer an explanation about what that was and how it might have happened.

But I will also speak with them about the importance of knowing when to go a different way. I like to think of it as that Kenny Rogers moment.

You’ve got to know when to hold ’em
Know when to fold ’em
Know when to walk away
And know when to run
You never count your money
When you’re sittin’ at the table
There’ll be time enough for countin’
When the dealin’s done

The Gambler- Kenny Rogers

If you are of a certain age your first exposure to The Gambler might have been on The Muppet Show in the 70s.

And it might have taken you a few years and some life experience to understand the wisdom and truth in the song.

I have come to realize that I have lived much of my life as a gambler and that a good deal of how I lived it is similar to what I learned in that song.

And much of it has also come from understanding who I am, what I am about, what drives me and what makes me want to jump out of bed or run and hide.

Somewhere in the midst of these posts is my recollection about what happened when people stole my wife’s purse at Target.

I’ll put money down that it is pretty damn accurate.

What I Saw & What I Heard

The children were quite little, my 15-year-old son was still in preschool and it was because I heard him say “they took mommy’s purse” that I spotted the thieves get into the elevator.

It was why I flew down the escalator and made it to the doors before they opened.

I want to believe the man who stood in front of me saw something in my eyes that made him very nervous and that is part of why he exited the store as quickly as he did.

What I didn’t see was how he and the woman he was with stuffed the purse into the infant car seat that was in the cart they were pushing.

If it hadn’t been for the security cameras in the elevator I wouldn’t even know that was what happened.

It is why I couldn’t do more than glare at the guy and follow him part way through the store to see if I might catch a glimpse of the purse.

If I had, well I would have tried to find a way to get it back.

I saw the woman walk out the back of the elevator too and since I didn’t have access to security footage I didn’t know who had it.

All I had was a gut feeling.

But a gut feeling wasn’t enough for me to do more than follow him because I figured what people would see was a man stalking a woman.

And I figured if I went after him people wouldn’t know I was a father trying to protect my family.

They would see a man fighting another man who had a cart with a baby in it and that would be when my father’s steely-eyed glare would manifest itself in my eyes.

What Do People See In Your Eyes?

I couldn’t rely upon them seeing kindness or compassion.

Under those circumstances I wouldn’t expect them to see anything but anger. The light that some say dances in my eyes would be dark.

Sometimes I talk to my children about what people see in our eyes.

Sometimes I tell them how some people say it is a window to our souls and that we can learn from and about people from what we see there.

Sometimes I tell them to use their eyes to let people know they aren’t suckers or victims but to never forget to show their humanity too.

What do people see in your eyes?

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  1. Larry January 9, 2016 at 7:45 pm

    I suspect they see seriousness. I hope they also see decency.

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