A lot of people who know me personally, often comment on how it’s a very good job that I’m doing with the blind. Each time, I have tried to correct the person and inform them that actually, it’s the other way round. What I have learnt from the blind people I have worked with is much, much more than what any of them has gained from me.
Here is how my life is better because of the skills I learnt from the blind.
I can walk around my house in pitch darkness.
If I’m cooking when the power goes off, I don’t have to turn the gas off and wait for the electricity to come back. I can continue cooking most of the times.
I don’t have to wake up to monitor the maid or the house. Even in my sleep, I do it with the ears and the nose. The maid hates it. I love the extra sleep. I learnt that from the students who knew someone was entering the class, even when I did not know it until after the person had entered.
Even if I am entering a building for the first time, I will be able to find my way over the sections that I have covered, in pitch darkness. This is because I count my steps and make a mental note of all the ups and downs of the floor surface. I learnt that from the students I worked with.
When buying clothes, I have learnt to close my eyes and then feel the texture. The difference in sensation is quite impressive.
I have learnt that it is possible to have fun AND hate people who pity you at the same time.
I have seen that it is possible to dance to perfect formations by just counting your steps and perfecting them individually. You cannot see the harmony you have created on stage, but everyone else can, and its beautiful!
I have learnt that there are 2 ways in which you can react to abject pity from others. You can either learn to use it to your advantage, or you can push it back with even more vigor. Your repulsion to that pity gives you more strength.