Reading Between the Pixels

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Snow with table

Snow’s Covering & the Odd Assortment of Things in a Yard

Everything looks better with a coating of snow: old houses, wrought iron tables of unknown origin, a bird bath that won’t hold water. And add to that the appearance given by a coating of photoshop, and voila! you have an amazing scene.

People are like that snow covered yard. A coating of half truths, convenient loss of memory, fancy resumes, and the picture you paint of yourself can look great. Anybody remember that old movie from the Ma and Pa Kettle series where Ma keeps bugging Pa to paint their dilapidated house? Ma comes home one day to find that Pa, a man with deep levels of laziness, has painted the house and it looks so wonderful. Then it rains and the “paint” washes off. Pa had used whitewash as a quick fix to what he thought was a major issue in his life, his wife’s need for a house that looked good.┬áMa was very upset; Pa was apologetic and felt bad. But nothing that Pa did and learned through his experiences, ever changed how he approached life–lazily, filled with quick fixes and avoidance.

I’m in the process of looking for a house to purchase, one that will fit all of my family’s needs and my budget. It has taught me, again, the lesson of how to read between the lines, or in this case, between the pixels. Just as the photo above makes a scene that looks enchanting, so do many, if not most, of the photos posted on websites advertising homes. Since beginning my search, I have walked into houses I expected to be larger, cleaner, more together and found trashed walls, nasty bathrooms, and detritus left behind by jilted inhabitants.

After several weeks of looking at the “real” house as opposed to what a photo tries to convey, I am much more savvy. But I still get taken by surprise, just like the house I went to today. The photo I had seen showed another section of house on the end of it, making it a worthwhile look at for the price, knowing I would no doubt have to put some work into the property. I don’t know where that section of house disappeared to. And the two houses sold together advertised completely different than what they were in actuality. Oh, you can see remnants of the pixels that teased me into viewing them but no where close to what the photos portrayed. Or, as has happened with several, a Pa Kettle approach to renovation–using toxic and substandard materials and methods to whitewash the truth of the house.

Which brings me back to my topic of how humans cover up their truths. It is only after you have spent some time with people, seen the results of their actions, experienced their truths, that you can usually “SEE” a person. Many times over my lifetime I have met people and seen their physical appearance one way and after knowing them, have that appearance change. It is because I have gotten to know them, accept them, believe in them, love them, that even a person who is considered unattractive by worldly standards, becomes very attractive to me. The same thing happens in reverse: persons appearing attractive and/or savvy in their abilities, after some knowledge is gained of them, show their true colors and become much less attractive.

Our world view is covered by the hype of all kinds of people; people wanting to sell you something, make you believe a news story, create an illusion they know best for you. So next time you are in a situation where you have to make a major decision about something, or hear a news report that is “the truth”, don’t just read between the lines–read between the pixels. See the whole truth. Several years ago, after being taken in by several sad sacks and their down on their luck stories, I asked God to show me when someone was in true need of help, and not a con artist. The very next time I was confronted with a person asking for my help, within the first 60 seconds the person shared information with me that told me their truth. But I ignored it, and in effect ignored God’s tap on my shoulder, and ended up helping someone who created havoc in my life and others.

Read between the lines and pixels, and you will save yourself many trips down the wrong, sometimes cleverly snow covered, paths.

Snow w wagon wheel

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