Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Can You See It?

"I saw his eyes, too. That's probably the scariest thing. There was nothing there, just emptiness almost. Like you can look in people's eyes and you can see life, their stories. But his--just emptiness."

--Derek O'Dell
20-year-old sophmore at Virginia Tech, describing Cho Seung-Hui as he opened fire in his German class.

Derek's words really resonated with me. I don't want to discuss Cho per se, but the fact that people's eyes do tell stories. I think Derek really captured that so poignantly in his description of what he didn't see in Cho's eyes.

People have always told me they have a hard time knowing what I'm thinking. I don't purposely try to hide how I'm feeling and be "stone-faced." At least, not any more since it's second nature at this point.

I learned to not show emotion at a young age after being told time and time again by my mother, "Wipe that smirk/puss/pout off your face." Whatever I was feeling, she didn't want to know it. I think that's probably one reason why I grew up uber sensitive to what others thought about me; I couldn't let anyone know how much their words or actions affected me. If I showed emotion, I lost. I don't know what exactly, maybe control, maybe the upper hand in some game I didn't know I was playing.

And so when I read this quote about people's eyes telling stories, something went "hmm" in my brain. I read it over and over and now I can say, wow, how special. I would love to be able to tell stories with my eyes. It's not a bad thing. What the bad thing is, is to end up a tightly-controlled, perfectionistic, impassive asshat.

What the good thing is, is to realize it and set about changing.


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