Posted under Living With Low Vision, Low Vision Info

It never ceases to amaze me how much education is still needed for everyday life. A few days ago while attending a new study group a woman that I did not know started talking to me. She had been sitting in the back of the class waiting for the study to commence. I arrived early as usual and walked in with my cane to help me find my familiar third row from the back seating choice. It turned out that I was directly in front of the woman. She started to speak to me immediately and before she even had her introductions made she gave a running monologue about what she would do if she was in my position. I wanted to hear what she felt my predicament was so I let her spew. At first it was just generalized help. There was a good doctor she would pawn all of her jewelry for if it was a money thing in order to be able to see this good doctor. Then she went on to say how if it was her….. Then a tumble of other ideas and proclamations about how awful it would be if she was blind. On and on she went. I finally had held back enough and I said “Believe me, my loss of vision is the least of my worries.” I then cataloged a number of things that I am currently involved with to ensure the poor soul that I was not sitting alone in my house grateful to be out in public again. In fact I had so many good things going for me that I almost challenged her to a throw down asking for a comparative list of what she was up to.

Soon though my hostility ebbed towards the woman and I realized it was just yet another opportunity of mine to educate. Within a few minutes of my speech she quickly forgot about my vision and started to appreciate me for a person first. See if we had been talking on the phone it never would have entered the listeners mind to ask if the recipient of the phone call had vision or not.

I have long since concluded that I can educate in three ways that presuppose my vision loss. I can talk, read and write to enlighten the masses to what we can do even if our eyeballs have betrayed us.

By the end of the conversation and before the meeting officially started my friend showed up to corroborate my story. It was nice to have back up to prove my point. My friend then gave an additional recitation of my skills and abilities apart from my non-vision.

So while my new acquaintance applied what she thought what it might be like if she lost her vision I was able to point out that it is so much deeper and richer than she imagined. We exchanged phone numbers and this might be the start of a nice friendship. We have started on level ground once she took me out of the ditch of self-pity that she imagined my life to be in. I also had to get a small step stool and walk off the pedestal she tried to prop me up on by the end of my discourse. We are on the same level ground now and that is a perfect place to start a friendship.

Blessings, Denise