Monday, September 7, 2015

Joe (I See with My Ears)

I was texting with one of my awesome co-facilitators Jana this week and thanking her for not 1, not 2, but the gazillion things she does for our seniors and our team (including organizing our first inter-group volunteer mixer this weekend which I am super super excited about!!) She texted me back in typical Jana fashion, "Lol no problem, you treat people how you want to be treated :)" I just want to share that to say that Best Day is nothing without my fearless, selfless army of volunteers, and to say that our seniors' bottomless wisdom may just be rubbing off on our volunteers ;) Jana's note reminds me of Joe's recent story. Let's really start to treat each other like we want to be treated.

Joe Garrison
I See With My Ears

A few years ago, I told a story called "Vision," once again, I feel the need to share my feelings about language as it pertains to being sightless. There are still people who think that a sightless or blind person should never use words like see, watch, or saw. A few days ago, I asked if I could watch a certain television program. My roommate is always reminding me that I can't see or that I have no vision. It offends me. I feel as though I function very well in the sighted world. I do the best I can. I find nothing wrong with saying I watch television or I saw so and so yesterday, or, it's good to see you. To me, it is a normal patter of speech. I believe that if I am in your presence, I see you. If I witnessed something, I saw it. I have expressed before that the word "see" also means understand or observe. And you do not need eyes to understand or observe. My ears are my eyes. I don't feel as though I have to change my way of speaking. To me, hearing is seeing, and there are countless blind people who think that way. I feel hurt when I am called crazy or stupid when people don't understand why I see things this way. This is my final word on this subject.

Click here to revisit Joe’s story, “Vision,” and a brilliant story sharing the same title by a special young lady, Olivia.