Tuesday, June 28, 2011

What We Can Do

Why is it we take so many things for granted in this world. Do you realize how different our life would be if we were deprived of just one of our five senses? Our ability to walk? Our ability to talk? And yet there are people who do it. It's so amazing to see how others live their entire lives without something we take for granted. If I were to lose one of these things I don't even imagine that I could function in the world. It would take me so long to learn how to get along without it.

I have a brother who has never been able to hear well. We learned some sign language and he has had to wear hearing aids since he was three or four when we found out about his hearing. To watch what he has had to go through, how different his perception of the world is, it's insightful. You never quite get it though, unless you've had to walk in that person's shoes.

When I was a child we used to play a game called blind man. In this game, you blindfold someone and spin them around. Then you tell them to find a certain room or object. But even playing this game doesn't give you a real idea of how people who can't see live. This is because you always know you have the ability to peak if you get really really lost. You always know you can take the blindfold off.

I had an aunt who lost her sight. She was my favorite of all Granny's sisters because she was an artist, like me. I used to look at her art work and marvel. Someday, I would do that. Then one day she gave me a lot of her art supplies because she was losing her sight to something called (and I hope I'm spelling it right) macular degeneration. Then, not too long ago, I saw a blurry spot one day. Probably caused by the horrible migraine I was experiencing. But it scared me. I became increasingly worried that I, like my aunt, would one day be unable to see.

But seeing other people go through something -- even if it's someone close to you -- and going through it yourself are two highly different things. You never understand, you never comprehend, you just don't know what it's like. And you live day to day taking all these things for granted. Most of us don't get up each morning and thank the Creator for the things we have and are able to do. We just take them for granted unless or until we lose them.


  1. Elie, this is so deep on many levels. Its comforting to know that you value the more important things in life such as human life & health. This is a well written blog. Thanks for posting. :)

  2. Elie, You have very mature insight into things we should value far more than we do; far too much is taken for granted. Wonderful job on this post and thanks for making us more aware of what we should treasure in life.

  3. Elie, this touched me more than you know. Two years ago, the very same happened to me. It's not that I was ungrateful or did not appreciate all my abilities before, but still was not prepared when it struck. It can happen to any of us.

  4. Elie, you are so very right. Earlier in the year I went to get a pair of new glasses and they told me that my interoccular pressure was very high and that is one of the first signs of glaucoma. Glaucoma doesn't have a cure and is normally a disease that only older people get. The treatment is to basically hold it off long enough that the patient doesn't go blind before they die. It sounds really harsh, but that is the truth and what the doctor told me. Needless to say, I spent the next few weeks in emotional turmoil, crying almost non-stop. I had never thought twice about life without vision and was forced to seriously examine what life would be like. It was terrifying because I rely on my eyes for so much that I do to tap into my creative side, let alone daily activities like raising my family and even getting dressed and going to the bathroom. I still need to go get my eyes checked more deeply but I am still too afraid to. I know I can't hold it off indefinitely but I am not ready yet.

  5. This is beautiful, Elie! It's also very true. I keep erasing my comments, I'm afraid. You've expressed everything so well, that I don't have much to say.