I believe vision is an important attribute. It moves people to make significant changes in the world and inspires people to create. ADF defines vision as “the ability to broaden one’s perspective to have a greater understanding of our place/role in the cosmos, relating to the past, present, and future.” It is a good definition. Meanwhile, The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language defines vision as “unusual competence in discernment or perception; intelligent foresight.” This definition is more exclusive in that it limits vision to a few, linking it to intelligence or wisdom. I think that the dictionary definition adds on nicely to ADF’s version. After reading both, I have decided that a person of true vision is someone who seeks to improve upon the world for all, not just for him or herself, while seriously considering history and what impact the vision will have on the future. A person of vision relies upon wisdom and intelligence to express that vision and bring it into existence, thus we have an overlap of virtues.
There have been many people of vision. Some have been able to grasp at the future, and ancient cultures took them very seriously. There are many such people in Irish legend, such as the prophetess Fedelma who brings an ominous fortune to Queen Maev. The Queen takes the vision seriously and decides not to ride into battle, but returns home instead to think on what she saw and heard.
The ability to see the future is only one form of vision, however. Some people see a possible future that is better than the present, if only hypothetically, and go about making waves in order to bring their future into being. Martin Luther King Jr. comes to mind when considering people of vision. He moved hundreds of people to march and protest so that the next generation could live in better civil harmony with improved rights. His dream may not have been fully recognized to this day, but the future is certainly better because of his vision.
Vision can be present in all facets of society as well. Warriors need vision in order to have an ideal to strive in battle. Spiritual and academic leaders also need a goal to work towards. Producers need the ability to visualize the future in order to thoroughly think through their gardening, weaving, or other art.
I feel that I have a certain amount of vision. I try my best to think things through in regards to my health and the environment. This way of thinking has lead me to become a vegetarian and growing environmentalist. I also feel that it takes vision, as well as perseverance, to see my art projects through to completion. I need to have a picture, however fixed in my mind, before I can sit down and draft a pattern.
~Grey Catling, 2008