The value of identity is that so often with it comes purpose. – Richard R. Grant

 

I, with utter shock and amazement, recently read the story of Daniel Kish (The Blind Man Who Taught Himself To See). Daniel was diagnosed with Retinoblastoma, a brutal form of cancer, which as you can tell from what it's called, attacks the retinas. To save his life, he had only one option; to remove both of his eyes. The screwed up part of this was that when this happened, he was only 13 months young!


Fear has its use but cowardice has none. – Mahatma Gandhi


Becoming blind pretty much sums up my biggest fear in life. I find it hard to even begin to imagine what going through life without vision must be like. Closing your eyes for a few minutes and trying to get around in a room or two isn't quite the same (because you know that you can open up your eyes at any moment to prevent accidents, and resume your normal life by looking around), but the idea is the same. Imagine that once you close your eyes, the lights go out permanently, and life as you were familiar with it, instantly ends.


There are many ways of going forward, but only one way of standing still. – Franklin D. Roosevelt


Cowardice didn't seem to play a role in Daniel Kish's life. Instead, he’s giving hope to blind people all around the world that although blindness may be considered a disability, he now has to modify his abilities to serve him. With action, he's saying that there may be a way in which blind people can blend into normal life that does not make them dependent on those around them for many things.


One thing that stood out to me in the article I linked above is how unbelievably proud this man is to live his life with what he has to work with. He responds strongly to the fact that people will still see him differently, as an outsider. Yeah, right. As if you need to ride a fancy car, cook fancy meals, and look at eye-candy to make you special. Special isn't what you have, it's about how you react to what you're given in life. We, the people who see him as different, are a big part of the problem. Not his blindness. It grinds my gears that people often see people who or blind (or people with any sort of 'disability') and assume immediately that they are feeble beings with nothing left to offer this world.


People are changed in many ways by adversity. Pain and suffering build our character. Some people give up in the name of their crucible, some people become indifferent. And others will become giants; success stories that inspire the world to embrace your reality such as it is so as to help others face their own. These "success stories" or "Giants" are people I consider to be the most valuable to the human condition. They literally prove to us that our only limitation is the mindset we have, ones we have absolute control over, the ones we set for ourselves.


Truth may sometimes hurt, but delusion harms. – Vanna Bonta


I always say that being "normal" sucks. It's boarding, it's fake, and a lot of what society claims to be "normal" is the biggest crock of shit you could ever buy into.


People like Daniel really show you what success really means. It's not comparing, it's embracing and making the most of your situation. It's being proactive, not reactive. Yes, a situation might suck, but there's always a way to turn things around. It's the delusion that keeps you in the dark. So, thank you, Daniel! For showing that there really is nothing you can't do, if you put your heart, mind and soul into it.