From a distance, my kitchen cabinets are spotless

Published 9:00 am Monday, April 16, 2018

My granddaughter ran up to me to show me the picture she just finished coloring and held it out in front of her, standing a few feet away.

“Don’t look to close cause then you can see where I went out of the lines in some places,” she said.

In 1990, Bette Milder released the song, “From a Distance,” that spoke of how the world is beautiful, as long as you can view it from far away. Once up close, things can get ugly.

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It’s like my kitchen cabinets. They have been stained a dark color and from a distance, they look like I clean them diligently every day. Then I bend down to pick something up and eesh – all the little spills and spots can be seen.

Is the world really that much worse today than decades ago? Or has social media just become one big, giant magnifying glass that now allows us to look far too closely at the world?

There’s little doubt that social media has allowed us to see people at their worst — and at their best. We learn things about people we’ve known for years that we never knew before and in some cases, we wish we hadn’t learned.

We see everything up close now. Every mistake someone makes, every trip on the ice, every hateful thought and vicious deed by someone around the world, we watch daily on our newsfeeds.

Sometimes, we see the good stuff. A year ago, the world was entranced by a beautiful pregnant giraffe named April who gave birth on a live stream – something most people would never have gotten to see in person. We see children growing up and our friends’ celebrating life. We see people reaching out to help someone in need through Go Fund Me accounts.

I’m not sure the bad we see is any worse than it’s always been. We’re just seeing it en mass now when before the internet and social media, we only heard about things via a newspaper or television news — and only so much can be shown in one hour or fit into one newspaper.

However, sometimes, we need to bend down and look closely at those kitchen cabinets so that we can clean off the dirt that’s right there in plain view when we take the time to look. Sure, no one likes cleaning kitchen cabinets. Seeing how dirty are makes us realize we were being a bit lazy and allowed the grime to remain. We couldn’t see it from a distance, but we know it’s there and will have to deal with it eventually.

Having the magnifying glass on the world isn’t always fun to watch. However, it’s allowed the world to learn about some pretty bad stuff that’s been building up and ignored and now it’s out in the open where it can be dealt with and wiped away.

Every once in awhile though, it’s nice to turn off the computers and televisions and for a short time, see the world from a distance where only the beauty shines through.