Sometimes Ours Eyes Deceive Us

Anthony Bourdain’s recent suicide was a stark reminder we all have poor eyesight. It’s not a criticism; it’s just the way we were made.

To everyone else, Bourdain had it made. He was rich and famous. And admired by millions. Successful by any measure. Yet he wasn’t, at least not in any truly meaningful way. The reality was quite different from what we saw. But in the end, reality revealed itself, around Tony’s neck.

My guess is that Tony was good at hiding what was really going on inside. “This is the last person I would have expected,” many of his friends were quoted as saying.

It’s not as hard to do as one would think — to hide in plain sight, that is. I’ve been pretty good at it myself; perhaps you have, too.

I suspect people’s success in hiding behind their masks is a testament to our superb human skills at hiding our true feelings and emotions as well as our sensory disabilities, that is, the difficulty of discerning what is truly going on within each others’ minds and hearts.

I don’t think I learned anything from this sad affair involving Bourdain. I already knew one could hide from others one’s true state of mind and thoughts. I already knew humans were poor at discerning the true mental condition of others of their species.

Nonetheless, it’s as a good reminder that things are not always as they seem. And that we should never assume we’re seeing the complete or true picture.

Sometimes, we’re seeing only what we want to see. Or only what we can bear to see.

And sometimes, we’re pretty damn good at hiding. In plain sight.

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