Thursday, June 30, 2011

How My Blindness Affects My Own Behavior

I have spent a great deal of time writing on how my loss of vision has impacted how other people interact with me but I have largely neglected how it changes my own behavior. Perhaps I have avoided it because I might not like what I find. Intraspection is never a pleasant process since it involves confronting my weaknesses and faults. I have observed that in many instances, primarily my first discussion with a new friend, I tend to focus my conversation on how ‘tough” I am. For example, I will share how even though I am legally blind, I can still kick some ass if necessary. (I used to be fairly good at martial arts.) In fact, I had an experience in which I actually taunted a man who got out of his car to express his displeasure with me flipping him off. (I was crossing a busy intersection and he almost ran into me while making a right turn.) When the man approached me, he asked if I was going to flip him off again. At first I didn’t realize who he was and after recognizing him I said, “Well, if your going to do something, let’s see what you got”. The man mumbled some inaudible remarks as he turned to walk away and I stated, “That’s the smartest thing you have done all day”. Yes, I probably would have had little difficulty in beating the crap out of him, but then what? In reality my attempts to portray myself as a “tough guy” are indicative of a lack of maturity and I doubt anybody really cares about my ability to defend myself, should the need arise. Instead of portraying myself as a “tough guy”, I was flaunting my own lack of maturity.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

What Did You Say?

What did you say?
It almost always happens. I will meet someone for the first time and then they will ask, “So is your hearing better than other people’s hearing?” “What”? “Is your hearing better?” “What did you say? “I said, is your hearing better?” Usually by then the person realizes that I’m being a smart-ass and starts to laugh. Occasionally they DON’T get it and I just say yes. But the truth is my hearing isn’t better than yours. In fact, I have a slight hearing loss in my right ear from my junior year of high school when my friend and I skipped school on Friday the 13th and I ended up in the hospital because of a water skiing accident. And to make the situation even better, my parents were in Hawaii at the time. Back to the original topic, the perception that blind people have better hearing. It’s not that my hearing is inherently better than yours, it’s just been sharpened from relying on it more than most people. So the next time you meet someone who is blind, spare them the question.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Back in the Saddle!

A lot has happened since my last posting. Unfortunately my eyesight is still slowly deteriorating but I am sleeping better. Nobody has let me drive their car lately. That’s probably a good thing. Up to this point many of my postings have focused on how my blindness affects other people’s behavior. My next posting or two will focus on how blindness affects my own behavior. Intra-spection can be somewhat disconcerting since I will be addressing my own behavior, good or bad, strange or normal. In the mean time, a hardy thanks to my viewers and a special thanks to Shannon for her comments and taking the time to read my blog.