I believe in knowing before judging.

Abby - LaGrange, Illinois
Entered on February 24, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

There are certain people in the world with disabilities. And in the world almost everyone will look at these people and point, stare, and even judge them on how there lifestyle is. Yes, it is true they must have a difficult life, but they can still live their lives as normally as possible. I believe that you should know a person before you judge them.

My father was born with retinitis pigmentosa and he is legally blind. And because of this I can understand the way people judge others on what they can or can’t do. Dealing with someone who is visually challenged I see almost every day how people judge things that they don’t fully understand. When I was little I was and my parents first explained to me about my dad being blind, I didn’t fully understand it. I was young and a little embarrassed at how my family looked when all of my friends saw us. There are questions that are always asked. “Why is your dad holding on to your moms shoulder” or “Your dad is really blind?” All of these questions always implied the same thing. Everyone wanted to say was “Wow, your family’s life must really suck having to take care of a blind man.” After all of those judgmental thoughts got into my head, I started to believe that my life was shoved aside because of my dad. We could never go to daddy daughter events, or do other normal things families did together. All because my dad couldn’t, and soon I had started to hate him for it. I got older and I realized that it didn’t really matter. Whether he could see me or not, I knew he would always love me.

People have never realized, because they’ve judged to quickly, is that my dad is perfectly capable of taking care of himself. And sometimes he does need help, but we are always happy to take care of him. Even I forget about what my dad can accomplish on his own. When we watch movies together I always try to explain to him what’s going on, but I forget how good he is at figuring things out.

I find it amazing how easily he can adapt to different things in life. He gets his books on tape and even can use his own ipod. My dad’s also an amazing cook, he has so many family recipes memorized, he can do almost all of it by himself. He even paved a little patio made out of flagstones around our back yard with only having to call for help a few times. To get around my dad holds on to my mom’s shoulder. He has a cane but rarely uses it, and we are hoping he’ll consider getting a guide dog soon. I am proud to say that my dad is as normal as any of yours. I just wish others could see him the way I do.

My dad is a wonderful person who tries to see people for who they truly are. And because people judge him too quickly about what he can’t accomplish they only see his disability. But what people need to do is focus on a persons good qualities and what they can do, only then will they truly see someone.