I didn’t expect much of this diving excursion. Our divemaster was young—she was 22—and as I mentioned previously, our visit to Hawaii coincided with some unsettling weather events. Also, the usual dive sites were off limits. But I was happy to be able to get out for a dive at all and figured we would just make the best of it.

It turned out to be one of the most memorable dives of my life. That 22-year-old is an experienced and accomplished instructor and divemaster. She is also a biology major who has fascinating insights into the marine life of the region. Her passion and her knowledge are incredible.

When we went below the surface I didn’t see much of interest at first, but she soon started pointing out the most amazing creatures and undersea landscapes. One moment I was seeing nothing, and then she would produce a long eel or a colorful rockfish, seemingly out of nowhere. She was like a tour guide who could make interesting sights appear on command.

I think this illustrates wonderfully how you can see whole new worlds when you look again through the eyes of a passionate expert. I think that, especially as you get older and more experienced, there can be a tendency to become entrenched in one way of seeing—your way—and that’s when it becomes more important than ever to challenge yourself with a different perspective.

This is the reasoning behind the Spear Faculty Club and Study Clubs. That’s why you need to get out of the routine of practice life from time to time and be among peers who are enthusiastic about exploring what’s out there in the field of dentistry today.

We see as much with the mind as with the eyes. After all, my eyes are fine, but I was not seeing the things my divemaster was seeing—not until she revealed them to me. Surround yourself with people in your profession who are passionate and accomplished and you can’t help but expand your mind and discover exciting new ways of seeing.