Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Another Kind of Sight!

Core Thought! The physically blind are handicapped in one way, yet we might be more handicapped if we have eyes, but cannot perceive truth and beauty. Maybe then we need to “see” with the eyes of people like Robert Smithdas and Helen Keller (both blind and deaf).

Robert Smithdas has been blind and deaf since he was 4 and a half, and was, according to Barbara Walters on 20/20, the most inspiring person she had EVER interviewed. He is married to Michelle, who was born deaf and lost her sight in a snowmobile accident as a teen-ager. They are happy and independent, both having earned masters degrees, and both teachers of the blind and deaf. Bob is a poet, too, and on the 20/20 piece on him and Michelle, they ended with this poem.

I praise my God,

for he provided me with music

when all sound had died away.

Into the songless darkness of my days,

the light of hope and

song of love have crept,

until my spirit sings this hymn of praise

to Him who woke me when my whole life slept."

How is that for “seeing” life from a clearer perspective. And before Bob Smithdas became a poet, Helen Keller, also blind and deaf since infancy, had her own powerful vision to share with others. Here are some of my favorites! (If you're getting tired, skip to the last quote, it's worth it!)

"With the death of every friend I love -- a part of me has been buried -- but their contribution to my being of happiness, strength and understanding remains to sustain me in an altered world."

-- Helen Keller

“Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.”

-- Helen Keller

"The world is so full of care and sorrow that it is a gracious debt we owe to one another to discover the bright crystals of delight hidden in somber circumstances and irksome tasks."

-- Helen Keller

Use your eyes as if tomorrow you would be stricken blind. If I had three days to see, this is what I would want to see.

On the first day I would want to see the people whose kindness and companionship have made my life worth living. I would call in my friends and look for a long time into their faces. I would also look into the face of a new baby. I would like to see the many books which have been read to me.

The next day I would get up early to see the dawn. I would visit a museum to learn of man's upward progress in the making of things. I would go to an art museum to probe the human souls by studying paintings and sculpture.

The third morning I would again greet the dawn, eager to discover new beauties in nature. I would spend this last day in the haunts of persons, where they work. I would stand at a busy street corner, trying to understand something of the daily lives of persons by looking into their faces and reading what is written there.

On the last evening I would go to a theater and see a hilariously funny play, so as to appreciate the overtones of humor in the human spirit. Yes, by God's light in Christ, seeing what matters and beholding the extraordinary in the commonplace.

Helen Keller

As we are tempted so often to self-pity, we would do well to remember Helen Keller’s words written at the end of her autobiography:

Fate--silent, pitiless--bars the way. Fain would I question his imperious decree; for my heart is undisciplined and passionate, but my tongue will not utter the bitter, futile words that rise to my lips, and they fall back into my heart like unshed tears. Silence sits immense upon my soul. Then comes hope with a smile and whispers, "There is joy in self-forgetfulness." So I try to make the light in other people's eyes my sun, the music in others' ears my symphony, the smile on others' lips my happiness.

How we all need the "joy in self-forgetfulness!" Have a great day, devoid of destructive selfishness, filled with the joy of being alive!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks, for reminding me and all who read this "blog" that self-pity is non-productive, downright dangerous, and leads to misery. cva