Do Us All a Favor

As Andrea agonized over picking up the white cane, her sighted friend Susie delivered the majority opinion.  “Do us all a favor,” said Susie.  Use your cane so we know you can’t see.  Then we can ask you if you need help or we can get out of your way.”

Andrea recalls, “My reluctance stemmed from a combination of shame and fear.  Emotions aren’t logical, but can paralyze me.  I had to realize the cane was a tool for MY safety and independence.  Changing my attitude is key to my growth.”

I have been blessed as a blind person to meet insightful and courageous people like Andrea.  Bits of their wisdom are collected below:

  • We are not alone in suffering.  No one gets through life unscathed.
  • We find strength in numbers.  We find a support group and hang on for dear life.  If we find the world short on support groups, we start one.
  • We contribute to harmony by giving our loved ones a little breathing space of their own.
  • We resist the notion that blind people only get shunted off into dark corners.
  • We try to do something scary every day, especially when everything is scary.
  • When we think no one understands us, we explain ourselves.
  • When we think of a problem, we try to think of a solution too.
  • If any habit leads to excess, we find a 12-Step program for it.
  • We resist the notion that life becomes more difficult the more eyesight we lose.
  • We try not to take anything personally.
  • Among our mantras is: Our dissatisfaction with what is is the main cause of our unhappiness.

Note: Read Andrea’s essay, “First Diagnosis,” posted 8/10/2012 at the Vision Through Words blog,

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5 Responses to Do Us All a Favor

  1. Sara says:

    The mantra sums it all up beautifully. Thank you, Jeff.

  2. bethfinke says:

    Thanks for featuring Andrea here. I am one of her biggest fans.

  3. Matthew Carello says:

    Very interesting column. Lets see if this will let me post this now. One mantra I always go back to is (What doesn’t kill me can only make me stronger) Ok it is something like that.

  4. carl dalka says:

    I’ve read the list three times. I can not get it. the ideas are broad and wide. But, I do not see me inside. The fact that I seem to not want to partisapate on self improvment lately .. be a large part of the whole scene.
    Jeff – congrads and more for advancing yourself in the writing world. I’m going to try and trace your footsteps and keep working on my self-help book. It now seems we may be building some sort of army of writers here . That is, if Beth and you will allow me to stand near you when the photo is taken.
    I’m off again Carl D.

    • Jeff Flodin says:

      Thank you all for your comments, as difficult as they might be to post. Perseverance at Word Press should be added to the list. Speaking of the list – I am the last to claim adherence to all its tenets all the time. Or even half its tenets half the time.

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