Friday, May 8, 2015

Dead seeing red: A parable (#FlashFictionFriday*)

Once upon a time a little boy was given a pair of glasses with red lenses. He loved them and never took them off. All that he looked at was tinged with red. He began to believe that’s the way things really looked and refused to listen to others who told him there were many colors; that not everything was red.

He grew up to be a true red-glasses man!

He took his glasses off only when he went to bed and it was dark. At night, without his glasses, everything looked gray and dingy. He decided and was certain that's how everything looked like all the time when it was daylight. He was comforted that his glasses provided a better view.

But there were others who didn’t accept his view.

A neighbor argued with him saying everything was blue because he wore glasses with blue lenses. A friend at work who always wore green-lensed glasses insisted the world was green.

But the red-lens man knew his way of seeing must be the true and best way of seeing.

One day while sitting in the park eating his lunch enjoying the red-tinged scenery a vendor came along offering free glasses with clear lenses.

The vendor called out, “See all things new! Get your free glasses! See all things new! Get your free glasses!”

The red-lens man was intrigued. He thought he might try a pair. After all, what did he have to lose if they truly were free?

He approached the vendor. The vendor smiled warmly and offered, “Would you like a pair of these clear glasses?”

“Are they truly free?” asked the red-lens man.

“Oh yes!” the vendor replied. “All that is required is that you give up the glasses you are wearing now.”

Now the red-lens man was uncertain. He knew there was probably a catch. How could he give up the glasses he’d loved his whole life?

“Can I just try a pair of your clear glasses first?” he asked the vendor.

“I’m sorry,” replied the vendor. “There are no free trials. You must trade in your old pair and commit to the new glasses. But I assure you, you will be amazed at how well you see!”

Others came to the vendor and were more than happy to trade their old glasses for new ones. To a person, they marveled at the variety of colors and the clarity of their vision once they put on the new clear-lensed glasses.

It was as if they'd crossed from darkness into light, they all exclaimed.

But the red-glasses man was not convinced. He was certain it was some sort of trick. No matter what the vendor or others said, the red-glasses man was unmoved and walked away.

The vendor shook his head sadly, saying, “Some see, but are blind. Some hear, but are deaf.”

The yellow sun shone brightly in the blue sky. Gleeful voices bubbled up all around the vendor as many exchanged old glasses for new.

* It’s flash fiction Friday! (To learn more about FFF, click here and scroll down.) 
Flash fiction is nothing more or less than a very, very short short story. This one is 499 words. What do you think? Can you think of real life situations where the truths of this story/parable might apply? Are you aware of the biblical allusions (or puns)? The editorial cartoon shown below may come to mind. Do you ever struggle to adjust how you see things? Is their risk involved in changing our viewpoint? Please share your thoughts in the comments!

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