“Always Turn a Blind Eye”

Robert - Erie, Pennsylvania
Entered on July 26, 2007
Age Group: 50 - 65

I believe in “Always Turning a Blind Eye”. Doing so, isn’t nearly as hard for me as it might be for most other people. Where you think my right eye should be there is really is only a piece of expertly painted plastic. It fools most people and for those whom it doesn’t, I hope that, like me, they are willing to turn a “blind eye” to human imperfection.

There is a very good reason that mothers admonish their children to “not play with sticks.” Everyone knows what can happen. I’d bet that you can hear her voice in your own head as I speak, “You’d better put that stick down, because if you don’t – somebody’s going to lose an eye.” Believe me, it’s more than an idle threat. It happens. I know because the “somebody” was me. And I’ve been able to turn a blind eye ever since.

My accident defined me for a long time. Before I was able to get a prosthesis, my damaged eye was not only useless; it was ugly (I wanted to use the word “unsightly” but I’m told that the pun, especially that one, is the lowest form of humor). Thankfully, many caring people were able to look beyond aesthetics and saw my potential instead of my scarred and misshapen iris. They, in fact, graciously turned a “blind eye” to mine. It was by receiving acceptance that I learned to offer the same to others, even for those whose actions seemed misshapen or unattractive to me.

I can do nothing about seeing the physical world in part compared to what most others see. Of course, my field of vision is less than people with binocular eyesight. Just close one eye and see for yourself and you’ll get the idea. It’s not horrible; it’s just not as good as it could be. Sounds like most of us, doesn’t it?

Limited scope of vision isn’t the biggest burden of this handicap. Monocular folks have lousy depth perception. We’re constantly bumping into walls or other people. It can make life interesting sometimes. I can’t tell you how many times a coworker has come upon my blind side while silently awaiting my reaction or response. I’d imagine that they think that I’m being imperious. In reality, I’m just ignorant of their presence. It’s not their fault that I can’t see them to know that they are there. Their expectations color their judgment. It’s normal. My experience has taught me that most of us aren’t very perceptive anyway. My own vision defect reminds me to try a little harder to be more sensitive.

I fail in my determination to be more perceptive and accepting far too often. My loved ones regularly must point out to me that someone with my experience ought to demonstrate more compassion. They’re right. I’m blessed to have people around me so willing to turn a blind eye to my faults. That’s why I believe so much in it myself.