Going Shopping as a Born-blind 2 — COBHAMS ASUQUO
Speaking of my wife, my wife and I sometimes go shopping together. Emphasis on “sometimes” because while most men will share my sentiments towards shopping, I really feel the same way for a different set of reasons because shopping, as a female sport is about feasting your eyes on goods so, you can generally imagine how quickly I would lose interest.
Sometime ago, we walked into a shop at an airport, we wanted to buy a bottle of water before I knew it, she had stopped by to browse through a magazine, had picked up a book, had grabbed a bag of gummy worms seemingly normal actions to her but I found it quite alarming.
Now here we were, we went in to buy an item but ended up browsing for other stuff and that was when it hit me. Sight sometimes is a distraction.
I have to say that when my wife goes shopping no matter how good her intentions are to purchase only the items on her list, she somehow manages to come home with extras, good deals, she likes to call them. She knows a lot about good deals, sales and all of that. I need to add that my wife is a fantastic woman.
Now don’t get me wrong, sight is a precious gift but on your way to your destination what you see can also be a big distraction from your goal so I have learnt that you have to be blind in order to be focused. Focus is blindness in a sense. I’m sure You should be able to relate to this because you have been focused on your goals and attained your successes by being blind to some things in your life.
We live in a culture that esteem sight over blindness and understandably associates blindness with weakness yet blindness in all of its weakness, I’ve drawn some key strengths in my life’s journey and when I lost the veil of childhood in a sense, the brutal reality of blindness stared me in the face, self-pity and failure loomed over my shoulder.
Some I’m sure would have excused me if I became a failure but I found it more fulfilling to break away from the expectations of mediocrity to successfully navigate and negotiate my way through life even if it ruffled the feathers of those who genuinely cared about me.
I share the same sentiment as I think of how the world relates to developing nations in Africa and even how some of us as Africans relate to our own society, we treat African continent as a disabled child.
We are quick to excuse the failure of this poor child, she’s still young, she’s still suffering from colonialism, she’s corrupt, she’s never had any true leadership.
We expect failure when we really cannot afford to.
But once in a while, an individual or group of people come along who choose not to excuse the failure of this child but instead to stroke the potential of this child. Sometimes this child herself decides to go out on a lame and she does either extraordinary, groundbreaking or something simple when she seemingly has no apparent reason to. She chooses to turn a blind eye to the seemingly insurmountable realities around her. And she might as mentioned choose to do something ground and era changing or she might do something quiet and simple like refusing to allow her seeming disability rob her of the joy of living.
I’d like to conclude by reiterating these 3 lessons I’ve learnt from Blindness;
- Don’t excuse failure on no account for no reason.
- Trust even when you have no reason to and finally,
- Be blind to be focused.
Thank you very much
Story by Cobhams Asuquo
Culled from TEDxEuston