Saturday, April 21, 2012

Don't Hide Yourself Away

Blindness can cause you to want to withdraw from the world.

Actually for me it has had the opposite effect. I have pushed out. I used to not want to be noticed. I was shy, would go out and hardly speak to people. Eat in a restaurant rarely and if I did would go to a table in the darkest corner at the back of the room.

Going blind has not made me into one of those loud brash people, the ones whom you cringe at in public.

I have though found a taste for public speaking.

Last Spring I did a talk at my Community College about going through school after going blind. It was a bit of a last minute thing. I met a head of the Disabled Student Resource Department and she was short of a speaker. My gut reaction was panic when she asked, but another part said "Why the Hec not?"

So I did the talk. It was fun. Especially as many of the students knew me anyway and it turned out more of a mass tutoring session. Lots of Fun.

Then the library needed a talk for the Summer Reading Program. The theme last summer was Cats. I chose to tell the story of Dick Whittington, thrice Lord Mayor of London. He had a famous cat.

Last week at the library too, I produced a program for the anniversary of the Sinking of the Titanic. It was a short talk and a movie, "A Night to Remember" about the actual events, not the fictional stories that have been added.

Now I am also planning more programs too. There is a Summer Reading Theme of Drams. For that I plan a talk about Olympic Dreams. This Being an Olympic Games Year. My athlete of choice will be, Jesse Owens. He after all created a dream of winning and worked to achieve that. In the meantime he shattered the dream of Nazi Aryan supremacy.

So don't believe blindness means that you need to hide away. You can conquer your fears and jump hurdles just the same as anyone else. It is not easy pushing your own limits but it is a lot of fun looking back and hearing the applause of the people who tell you they enjoyed what you said amd did for them.