Letters to Tom — Different Views

Dear Tom:

As you know I love the Razorbacks, and I cannot watch them play football without a bias point of view. I get emotionally caught up in the game, and if we lose I will not read the sports page the next day. My love for the Hogs overcomes any pretext of impartiality. Most people are this way about something they love whether it be their children, their home state, or their favorite sports team. It is difficult to watch a process in which we are deeply interested with a dispassionate gaze, even when we know this might the wisest course of action.

I understand that the Sufi way challenges us to look at everything from two points of view: from our own and that of another. I think it is healthy to view some person or relationship in our lives with a clear and compassionate gaze because we are seeing from a wider perspective. In Potok’s The Chosen, Rueben’s father admonishes his son when he laughs at a troubled man on the bus. Walk in his shoes and feel his pain before you laugh at his discomfort — the father teaches Rueben. How much kinder would we all be if we could master the art of seeing with God’s eyes?

I believe the Sufis call seeing through the eyes of another — Watching with Presence. I like how that sounds but believe it must be accomplished with love and surrender. However, don’t ask me to see the Razorbacks any other way.

Your Friend,

Webb

About the author

Webb Hubbell, former Associate Attorney General of The United States, is an author and speaker. His novels, When Men Betray, Ginger Snaps, A Game of Inches, The Eighteenth Green, and The East End are published by Beaufort Books and are available online or at your local bookstore. When Men Betray won one of the IndieFab awards for best novel in 2014. Ginger Snaps and The Eighteenth Green won the IPPY Awards Gold Medal for best suspense/thriller.

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