You can’t connect what you don’t see : Day 6 of 31

I love David McCullough’s writing. His curiosity glues him to one thing like President Truman, or 1776, or the Johnstown Flood, or the Brooklyn Bridge. Then he wrestles it to death for years to understand and make it clear and interesting to himself so that it will be interesting to us.

He connects the dots of the past with the dots of you and your present. But first he has to see the dots.

Seeing is so important . . . Insight comes, more often than not, from looking at what’s been on the table all along, in front of everybody, rather than from discovering something new.

The chances of finding a new piece are fairly remote . . . it’s more likely you see something that’s been around a long time that others haven’t seen. Sometimes it derives from your own nature, your own interests.

More often, it’s just that nobody bothered to look closely enough.

— author David McCullough

Recently I noticed that my 4Runner displays the outside temperature on the dashboard. Cool!

Except I’ve owned the car ten years. Never noticed. Never bothered to look closely enough. What else am I missing that’s right in front of me?


This is Day 6 of 31 Days of Connecting the Dots: make more sense of your life, your world, your hopes and dreams. Subscribe on the right or below and each day will be delivered every morning to your inbox. Visit the Nester to choose from over 1,200 more 31 Dayers.

About the Author


Gary Morland helps you feel better about your most challenging family relationships, and helps you actually improve those relationships - all by adopting simple attitudes, perspectives, expectations, and actions (the same ones that changed him and his family).


  1. I had to laugh about your 4Runner. But then I remembered that I have not read my manual for my Nikon camera. There are lots of extras I could be using but haven’t taken the time to learn. And I love to take photos!

  2. Tammy LeGlue

    I envy you your 4-Runner. Mine is so old that all I get is the time. Just kidding about the vehicle, but on a more serious note, this post reminded me of something I have learned: I cannot connect with or love others the way God wants unless I see them through His eyes. That has become a prayer for me on a daily basis. (sometimes multiple times per day).

    • I love that connection prayer Tammy.

      The 4Runner has 225k miles – still running and tells the temp!

  3. soulstops

    Love the David McCullough quote; you made me chuckle about your 4-Runner observation…I’m almost always asking God to help me to see, really see Him, and really see others…blessings, Gary :)

  4. Abbie

    What about when connecting the dots makes you see something you wish wasn’t there? Or makes you very sad? I feel like that’s where I am, seeing something I don’t want to. I suppose that’s where hope comes in.

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