If you’re blind, have you been called a hero just because of some small accomplishment or positive attitude? Or, have you been compared by someone to another blind person they knew somewhere? If so, join the crowd. A lot of folks are somewhere on the learning curve of walking in the shoes of someone who’s blind or otherwise disabled.
Or, if you’re sighted, have you mentioned to someone how you can’t imagine doing things like crossing a busy intersection blind, running on the treadmill blind for a half hour to forty minutes?or even going to school blind? Yes, it’s all hard to imagine if you’re unaware of the techie gismos and other adaptations we make so as to live life to the full contributing to mainstream society.
I know. Showing admiration for what someone who’s blind can do is often well-intended. It’s good to recognize our intellectual and physical capabilities. But, it magnifies the tasks of daily life-crossing streets, riding the bus, working a regular job, or going to a public school with sighted peers to be bigger accomplishments than they really are.
That’s had two effects on me over the years. Either I felt the fear I’d not do the same task so well the next time or I felt my worth as dependent on these accomplishments and then putting added stress on each little step I’d take.
Now, check out the linked blog post about Holly where she encourages us who are blind not to compare ourselves to others. After all, being boldly blind means stepping out in our own sector of life, often beyond our comfort zone, and embracing opportunities to gain better independent travel skills, opportunities to self-advocate for our needs, and raise awareness of our capabilities among those who haven’t gotten as much exposure to the blindness community.