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, http://visionthroughwords.wordpress.com/2012/08/10/first-diagnosis/