From my book The Stations, I’ve chosen an excerpt that is about seeing with ‘new eyes’.
(Peter is speaking) “One day I heard a lecturer talk about a yellow pencil. She held up the pencil and said people have a tendency to take everything for granted. The race of man is still slumbering in awareness! We buy a pencil for a dime and think we have paid for it—yet there is no way to pay for what it took to bring it into being so it could be purchased for our dime. It was there for us not only because of the merchants who sold it, the shippers that transported it, and the factories that turned wood and graphite, rubber and metal into pencils; not only because of forests that produced the wood and rubber, the mines that gave up the metals; but also because of the centuries of human ingenuity that discovered the use and invented the process and refined it over the years. No person could ever pay enough for the pencil’s existence . . . yet there it was and we could buy it for a dime! We all owe a debt to life simply for providing us with what we take for granted. We pay for the richness in our lives in becoming aware of how interconnected all of life actually is. She never said ‘God’, but I understood infinite goodness for the first time when she said we can only begin to repay in striving to give back something for all we have been given.”