A study by the World Health Organization suggests that worldwide an estimated 39 million people are blind. Those of us that, too often, take our sight for granted would certainly be horrified if we suddenly lost it. Everyday things that are effortless to people accustomed to visually seeing the world would become a chore, and we would have to learn different ways of performing simple tasks. We would have to learn how to read by touch; in fact the sense of touch (and sound) would become our primary means of perceiving the outside world. We could no longer see the faces of our loved ones, a beautiful sunset, our old memories that are captured in photographs. The tragic sense of loss and change would likely be overwhelming for many of us, yet you see those that have lost their sight or were born without it prevail and even thrive in life. They do not let their lack of sight impede their lives, and they use innovative means to triumph over what we see as a disadvantage.
However, as frightening and heartbreaking as it would for us to suddenly lose our sight, and with all of the hardships we would endure, all of the beautiful things we would no longer be able to see, I am forced to ask what life would be like if we saw each other through the eyes of the blind. You see, while the blind do not see the beauty in our world, they also do not judge based on how a person looks. We would not be distracted by what society’s ideas of beauty are, and thus not label those around us based on a physical perception. We would be able to put racism behind us if we saw the world not in color but as a unified race of humanity and spoke to people without instilled misconceptions. We would not dismiss a person’s worth based on what he or she appears to be, but instead would allow ourselves to get to know that person’s intelligence, sense of humor, ethic, and dreams, the things that really make a person. We would have less self-doubt and self-loathing, as we would not have society’s idea of perfection projected upon us. We could focus, all of us, on what matters. Those of us that have been given the gift of sight can see beauty, but too often it is turned into something perverse and taken for granted. In a way, the blind see more than we ever could, as they know a person not by face, but by his or her soul.