I love the idea of becoming a “transparent eyeball”—as weird as it sounds when saying it aloud. The term doesn’t come from me (it comes from Ralph Waldo Emerson), but I interpret being a transparent eyeball as being utterly unconcealed to the world around you. You hide nothing and give all of yourself while simultaneously witnessing and seeing everything around you: being absolutely and totally present. I think it’s easier to find that part of yourself when you explore or are outside with very little baggage—like backpacking or hiking.
Being transparent and present is essential to being a conscientious being—and it applies more to the arena of social justice than almost anywhere else. Seeing everything and letting everything see you is so important—especially because we tend to wrap ourselves up in our own problems and can’t let the rest of the world in. I think that being present is perceiving the world—and once you are conscious of it, you are one step closer to being a person of substance.
My second favorite phrase is “sorry!”. Being apologetic was such a well-known and integral part of my identity in high school that I regretfully chose “sorry!” as my senior quote for our yearbook. Looking back, it was a bad idea. Out of context it appears as though I am eternally apologizing for something awful I did my senior year—which is not the case! Since then, one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned in life is to be unapologetic (to a point) about your choices, no matter how unreasonable they might be.