Tuesday, November 11, 2008
I went to an exhibit in Atlanta this weekend. It was called Dialog in the Darkness and it replicated what it feels like to function in different situations when you are blind. We went with my brother in law's sister and her daughter, Rebecca and Rachel. It was nice to see them.
My niece and nephew are visually impared and it was a remarkable experience. I was able to identify with them on an emotional level. It was neat to see how the ground feels different under your feet, and how space is so hard to measure.
Here is food for thought: My niece and nephew do not see people and then make judgements about them. I would think they "judge" people by listening to them, a much more accurate way, wouldn't you agree? I "judged" my guide by listening closely to her, her tonal inclinations, the way she reacted to what people said, her level of patience. How would people judge me if they could only hear me? I shudder to think. My impatience would shine through quickly.
I wanted to touch those around me and it was much more acceptable to put your hand on someone's leg when you were sitting next to them. Touch in general was much more accepted. Not a bad thing. The personal space bubble - I'm not sure if it existed.
It was very easy to bump your head (or knee or anything else for that matter!).
There were many things I learned through the exhibit yet I am stuck on the whole premise about not being able to judge people on physical appearance. If you are judging by what you hear, you want to hear the people. You really listen and you pay attention to their feelings. As I rush through life, I rush through people.
I think I will wear blinders for a while and really get to know those around me. That alone could be lifechanging.