Optics-Real or Imaginary?

Optics-Real or Imaginary? July 14, 2022



We live in a world of ‘optics.’ A word used too much, I think. I remember when it was used for a scope on a rifle. “Hey Charlie, what kind of scope optics you got on that there Remington? Bet you can pluck a tick off a hound dog’s back leg with it, eh?” For the life of me, I don’t know why you would want to shoot a tick with a Remington. Seems like a little too big of a hammer for that construction job. Plus, you’re shooting a big gun at a dog. If you miss or blink or sneeze, things could go bad for the dog? The optic lens we and others use to evaluate how something we do is looked upon and judged can also be misused.

Politicians busily chastised for it. How something an individual or group-anyone is doing and how it looks to the outside: political party, organization you work for, family choices, personal choices, might impact others. Is the blouse you are wearing too revealing, tight, loose, wrong color and don’t even get me started on the baggy pants issue young men have. A trend kept alive for years. I have come to realize that particular trend involves pants taken from the young man’s dead grandfather, leaving the boy pants seven sizes too big. The kid, however, saw a trend availing itself. The nice thing about this optic is the kid can’t steal much of anything because as he runs, he is carrying the stolen item in one hand while holding his pants up in the other. So, that optic seems to work.

     We get evaluated

But sometimes, we are evaluated, measured, even judged by other people’s optics and they are basing the information received from those optics-those lenses, then filtered through their own analysis of what those optics say. Add to that a person’s placement on this planet, their essence, where life has delivered or placed them, age, and you can really misinterpret a person or be misinterpreted yourself by lenses of the optics not being correct.

     It can be funny

It’s funny how even my own optics of myself, has had to change. I am no longer the spunky twenty-one-year-old who is young and strong. I’m not the thirty-seven-year-old who has survived two high school reunions. Anyone who has gone to their first two reunions know what I am talking about.

They have witnessed the first reunion filled with “hey, look at me. I’m successful and have a nice car.” Followed by the second, twentyish year since graduation. A reunion which was the sobering “hey, yeah it’s still me. I have put on fifty-eight pounds, have chronic dysentery, on my fourth marriage, filed bankruptcy twice, and my shoes are too tight.” Reunion three four and five are body counts and reunions combining graduation years because none of the people organizing the event could get enough graduates to join to get the one-hundred plus attendee discount at the local Assembly and Party Center, located in the strip mall where the previously mentioned big box warehouse store lives and two doors down from an ACE Hardware.

   As I get older….

Frankly, it’s the optics in these later reunions which could be the most accurate. As I get older, I realize I changed dramatically. Things I cared about in my twenties, thirties, forties, even fifties, are nothing I care about now.  But sometimes, a lot of times actually, we look at ourselves or these groups of people through lenses which become inaccurate. If you needed glasses to read in your twenties, they will not be the same prescription in your thirties and definitely not in your fifties.  Making judgements on people either older, sometimes much older, or even reversed and making decisions about younger individuals and judging those findings by our own optics, can be far from accurate. And sometimes, the places we hope to avoid such things, like churches, are the worst at it.

You find yourself judged-if you believe in God. You just will. Not just believing in God, but the healing forgiving power of his son, Jesus. You’re actively being measured by optics which are based on misaligned data. Those same optics you, yourself, sometimes find yourself using.

     And Evil smiles.

But with age and passing those decades like signposts along I-40, we find our maturity controlling our desire to respond to misjudgment with a patient silence. Allowing those viewing that tick through optical devices to rethink their application of those judgments and assessments and determining, ‘what I think I see, is through my experience, and not theirs. What I think I see, is what I would do.’

We interpret others actions based on our own experience or position. It is probably a big reason why Matthew and Luke both said, ‘do not judge others or you too will be judged.’ The challenge for the person being measured, is to stay firm in the idea God—our Dad, runs our vindication. Which is still no guarantee that same vindication won’t be decades after we’re dead.

Oh boy.

     We want justice

I want justice. We crave, when appropriate, the hanging to be public! The judge overseer points their finger at us and we dream they say “that person, right there, has been wronged and wronged badly and I want all of you to take notice we are quashing the reason they have been, well, wronged.”

And Evil smiles again.

Wait, why would Evil smile? He’s been vanquished and the whole village saw it. Because we trusted our own optics. We measured someone through a lens which didn’t allow us to see clearly, other than through our own filter of experience. We could make something stop, change, become who we wanted that something to be because damnit, we know what’s best.

     I find….

Finding as I get older, I am allowing the moment of retribution to pass. I don’t want the public hanging, well, not always. I can wait. We know there is a plan—The Plan. Someday, someone will see the optics they used to claim the need for change. They eventually discover they were looking through their own optics experience and not the optics of those they judged.

Those judging never asked those observed “hey, ah, what is this?” being fearful of redress. But somehow, if we trust our faith, vindication will come. I think I can say it will not look anything like what we thought it would look like. It will be perfect, because the Plan is perfect.


But Dad knows. And that is all that counts.

Enjoy the ride.



About Mark J Williams
Mark Williams spent the first twenty-one years of his career as a Special Agent for the Organized Crime Division of the State Attorney General’s Office. As part of his duties, he investigated organized crime, homicides, and fraud cases submitted by other agencies to that office. He has traveled across the United States as an instructor for law enforcement in various capacities. After he retired, he became a high school English teacher at an inner city school in central Phoenix where he is the fourth generation in his family to live in the valley. Mark has published eight novels, paperback, e-book, and audio and can be found on Amazon or easily through Mark’s website at www.markjwilliams.com. His idea of the perfect ending to any day is curling up in his comfy bed with a good book and reading until his eyes cross. Mark was married for almost thirty-eight years and has been widowed since 2018. He has three children, and ten grandchildren. He currently resides in Phoenix. You can read more about the author here.

Browse Our Archives

Close Ad