The Art of Seeing

He saw something in my son nobody else saw. And he made a film about it.
— George Monroy, Caine's father

Do you remember that video about the young boy from LA who built a cardboard arcade and stole the internet's heart? If you're not familiar with Caine's story, you need to be. Don't worry, there's no expiration date on awesome story. This is the best 10 minutes you'll invest today:

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Well, my friend Heather at Shutterfly (she's the Chief Storytelling Officer, how cool is that?) sent it to me this week & I watched it a few times, including yesterday over a Valentine picnic with my wife & daughter. The story is one of those that's too incredibly heartwarming not to share. And it started me thinking about a few things.

Something Nobody Else Saw. It takes a storyteller to see the world as it's supposed to be (thanks for the phrase Cornelius Plantinga). Most people walk through life and see a hardware store full of boxes. It takes a storyteller to see, to really truly see, past the factual truth of life and redemptively view the details. This wonderful little kid gave the world a gift, but it took a storyteller's perspective to translate what he created into a language the rest of the world could understand. It took a storyteller to show the world an arcade.

Storytellers are First Customers. The Art of Seeing comes with great responsibility. It's a form of leadership. The way Nirvan Mullick (the storyteller behind Caine's Arcade) saw his neighborhood sparked a worldwide movement & literally changed Caine's life forever. Not to mention the change in perspective that occurs in anyone who's ever seen the film. They'll never see a cardboard box the same way again. The world is better because Nirvan needed a door handle and found an arcade.

A Small Gesture. Seeing Truth in the overwhelming presence of contrary facts, takes practice - but it's something you can do anywhere. And it starts with being curious and kind. Nirvan may have truly seen the arcade before anyone else, but it took kindness shown to a 9 year old boy and a willingness to ask, "how much for a fun pass?" to give birth to a story.

This weekend, as you do the things you do, practice the Art of Seeing. Engage someone you wouldn't normally notice, show them the kindness of being genuinely interested in the details of their life. You just might find a story that we all desperately need to hear.

You can learn more about Caine & his arcade here: