God Didn’t Make Bifocals Just For Grumpy Old Men

This article is thought provoking. Click the link below to read directly from the author’s blog, “The Ninth Life”.

OUCH! My tooth hurts, and I want it taken out today!” exclaimed Mr. Eddie as he repeatedly pointed to the left side of his swollen face. It was a rainy Wednesday afternoon, and Mr. Eddie had come in for his annual emergency exam. Mr. Eddie was a grumpy old man who always wore a pair of glasses, a faded orange baseball cap, and an over-sized orange sweatshirt with loose-fitting jeans. As you can tell Mr. Eddie was pretty predictable, and he only made a dental appointment whenever he was experiencing major pain. For some unknown reason, that was usually once a year.

After politely introducing myself, a few of the questions I asked were, “Which tooth is causing you pain, Mr. Eddie? How long has it been bothering you? What medications have you been taking to alleviate the discomfort?”

Mr. Eddie excitedly responded with, “It’s this one right here! It’s been hurting for a while now, and I’ve been taking Motrin for the pain,” as he removed a pair of thin framed golden metal glasses from his face.

While taking a good look at his tooth and x-ray, I informed him, “Well, you have a really bad cavity inside your tooth. I am going to numb you up and take it out.” Thereafter, I quickly grabbed a pair of safety glasses to help protect his eyes.

What I had failed to realize was that Mr. Eddie was wearing a second pair of glasses on his face, while still holding the first pair of frames in his left hand.

At that very moment, my inner voice went crazy holding a conversation among itself, “How could I have missed him wearing two pairs of glasses? Why was he wearing two pair of glasses at the same time? Did he even know that he had two pairs of glasses on? Is he losing his mind?”

I silently whispered to my inner voice, “Hush up! This is really none of your concern.”

However, the fact that he had been wearing two pairs of glasses intrigued me.

My lips had spoken before my brain had realized it: “Mr. Eddie, why are you wearing two pairs of glasses?”



Mr. Eddie turned his head towards me, half-smiled, and hesitantly said, “I broke my bifocals, and I can’t afford another pair right now. So, I wear two pairs of glasses. One pair helps me to focus on what’s up close. The other pair helps me to focus on what’s far away. It was difficult at first, but I have taught myself how to wear both pairs at the same time.”

After successfully pulling his tooth and sending Mr. Eddie home a happy man, I knew in my heart that I wouldn’t see him again until the next time he was in pain. Nevertheless, I couldn’t stop thinking about Mr. Eddie wearing both pairs of glasses and how this could be applied to each of us.

What if we taught ourselves how to wear two pairs of glasses at the same time in our everyday lives?

THE CLOSE UP: What if you learned how to zoom in and manage your everyday problems with less anxiety and fear and with more preparation and hope? Do you think that would change anything? What if you started doing those tasks today that you keep telling yourself you will do tomorrow? Would you get more accomplished? Would you be more successful? What if you started caring less about other people’s opinions of the car you drive or the clothes you wear and started caring more about investing in your own bank account? Do you believe you would be better prepared if an unexpected financial problem arose? What if you had a positive mental attitude instead of always being a “negative Nancy or a Debbie downer?” Do you think a more positive outlook could change how you view yourself and the world? What if you willingly reached out a helping hand unto your neighbor? Do you believe it would make you a stronger person?

THE FAR AWAY: Sometimes, we are so focused on our everyday problems that we lose sight of our hopes, our dreams, and our future. That’s where our second set of lens come into play. What if we paused, re-adjusted our eyes, and focused on our future? Have you ever wondered what the world would be like if each of us slowed down from our fast paced lives and quietly meditated and reflected on our future? Well, don’t worry! It’s not too late to find out! What if someone were to ask you, “What are your dreams, hopes, or goals? What is your purpose in life? Can you name some of the things that you love to do? What do you stand for? Do you want to go to college? Do you have a plan? Is there a back up plan? Where do you hope to be in one year, five years, or ten years? What legacy do you want to leave your children? What if you died tomorrow, would you be proud of your life story? What is your definition of success? Are you ready for what’s next?”? Would you be able to give them a meaningful answer instead of the three words, “I don’t know”?

Hmm? Maybe, it’s time for both a dental and eye exam. Who’s overdue? 😉

With Love, K. L.

Photo credit: The Pack / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

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