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I need to preface this blog by letting you know that this story is no urban legend. It really happened. It was time for my wife to renew her driver’s license. She had lost her vision since the last time the license had to be renewed and assumed that, no one in their right mind, was going to actually renew
I am pleased to announce that, in the near future, in conjunction with some of my male friends, we will be launching a new program to help other men experience what it is like to give birth. We plan to call it “Baby Maybe.”
A willingness to help others is a laudable personal quality. We value it in friends and family. We want to develop it in children. It makes us feel better about ourselves. But, it can be like a narcotic for someone who is blind or visually impaired; that is, beneficial under the right circumstances, but profoundly damaging if not used appropriately.
Recently, I was asked by the friend of a friend if I would be the speaker at the annual banquet of a local professional organization. The group would have no difficulty locating a good speaker, so I was perplexed as to what they thought I might have to say that they would be interested in.
Almost every time I hear someone say, “Do you mind if I pet your dog,” I hear The Bad John whispering in my ear, “Would you mind if I put sugar in your gas tank?” Of course, I never say it and really do appreciate people asking, but there are some very good reasons for not wanting people to pet
I am a real fan of the humorist, Wil Rogers. Among the many insightful things he said were his comments on Mother’s Day: “It’s a beautiful thought, but it’s somebody’s hurtin’ conscience that thought of the idea. Someone … figured we’ll give her a day … and then in return Momma gives you the other 364.”
A number of years ago, I was asked by the friend of a friend to speak with a middle-aged man who was losing his vision but very much in denial. When I went to his home, he welcomed me cordially, invited me in, and offered me a soft drink. When he tried to pour it into a glass, however, three-fourths of it missed the glass and spilled on the rug. I learned later that his vision had deteriorated to the point that, when eating, he had to lower his face about three inches from his food to see what was on his plate.
I would like to think that, polished sophisticate that I am, if I were introduced to, say, Queen Elizabeth or former President Clinton, I would remain the ever-poised person I like to think myself to be and not blurt, “Hi, Liz” or “Hey, how’s Monica doing?” In my more realistic moments, however, I have to admit that, nervous and ill-at-ease, I’d probably be more likely to commit a social faux pas than I would like to think.
If someone who is blind were to draw a map of your city, what would you think it would look like? What would be highlighted? What would be left out? Growing up in Kansas, which, if it’s not as flat as a table top, comes pretty close, it was relatively easy for me to have a reasonably accurate mental map