Are You Wearing Dung-Colored Glasses?


Ah, we love to make fun of those in love, the young and the naive who view the world through rose-colored glasses.

But what about the rest of us, those of us who wear dung-colored glasses? We should chuckle just as loudly when we realize this tendency to see darkly. When I am miserable, nothing—not riches, nor prestige, or a change in circumstances—nothing can change my interior unhappiness.

There is a scene at the end of C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia that has stayed with me for decades. The fictitious characterization of the grumpy, miserable dwarfs taught me about my own dung-colored glasses, because their perception of reality was so obviously skewed, their behavior hilariously outrageous. This scene is an example of what cognitive therapy tries to teach us about the power of our presumptions to imprison us in misery. Our entrenched paradigms, and our refusal to take off our dung-colored glasses,  prevents us from experiencing a new life when it is offered to us.

The enemies of Aslan have imprisoned the children, a few animals, Prince Caspian, as well as disgruntled dwarfs in a shed that is dank and dark, filled with putrid straw, stale water, and rotten cabbages to eat. A war against the evil forces rages outside. Outwardly, it seems that all is lost, yet the children, Prince, and animals hold on to the belief that Aslan, who is a Christ figure, will come and save Narnia. Of course the dwarfs mock their ridiculous faith.

Suddenly Aslan appears, vanquishes the enemy and the back of the prison crumbles revealing a glorious sight. It is Narnia, but more resplendent, filled with a radiant light. Everything is more colorful, beautiful, fragrant. It is a resurrected Narnia. Heaven has come to earth. A table, covered with a white cloth and laden with delicacies, beckons them.

Everyone celebrates by feasting on the delicious food laid out before them as they delight in the beauty all around. The dwarfs hang back, suspicious and mistrustful. When they finally venture a nibble of a delicacy they spit it out in disgust. All they taste is stale water and rotten cabbages.  All they see is the dark, dank prison.The grumpy dwarfs refuse this new life that the other characters are enjoying right beside them.

Many of us are no better than dwarfs, wearing dung-colored glasses, viewing God’s creation darkly. The solution?  Just take off your dung-colored glasses, come to this world’s Aslan who is Christ our Saviour and ask Him to give you His eyes to see the world and others in light of truth.

Do you ever view the world pessimistically? What keeps you from embracing Christ and His world view?

Copyright 2014 Melanie Jean Juneau


About Author

Melanie Jean Juneau is a mother of nine children who blogs at joy of nine9. Her writing is humorous and heart-warming; thoughtful and thought-provoking. Part of her call and her witness is to write the truth about children, family, marriage and the sacredness of life. Melanie is the administrator of ACWB, the Editor in Chief at CatholicLane, CatholicStand, Catholic365 , CAPC & author of Echoes of the Divine.


  1. Thank you for this post, Melanie! It has given me a lot to think about. I can tend to see the negative or my failings. They can kind of take over and cloud the positive. I have so much to be grateful for. I have to keep hopeful and keep my blessings at the forefront!

    • Christian cognitive therapy understands the power of words and thoughts and how they affect our emotions, especially scripture. Years ago a priest had me renounce lies and proclaim the truth aloud, to myself veryday for a year. Eg. I am a failure,guitly, unloveable…I am a beloved child od God

  2. Beautiful insights here, Melanie! I fight against being the perpetual glass-is-half-empty person. It’s fear that drives those feelings. Probably apathy, too. I appreciate your analogy and will use “dung-colored” as my code word to reframe/think differently about situations where I’m steeped in negativity. Thank you!

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