The phrase “the blind leading the blind,” has been used in a derogatory manner since biblical times. It tends to refer to incompetent people who are leading others who similarly handicapped. However if you had read the recent article in the Chicago Tribune “Blind couple steps out as parents” you would never use the phrase that way again.
The blind couple, described in the article, adopted two blind children and has been teaching them how to survive in the world. It seems that those of us who can see are the one’s who are blind.
We could learn a lot from this blind couple. The lessons they are teaching their adopted daughters could help all of us learn to be more aware of what is going on around us and possibly keep us safe from harm.
Let’s focus on some of the training these adoptive parents are providing and how it compares with how you operate on a daily basis.
1) Helping the girls, the Sprechers know, means pushing them into the world. And so they teach their daughters how to ride the CTA bus (listen carefully for each stop, they say).
How many of you are so distracted by your i-Pods, smart phones, i-Pads, and laptops that you don’t even notice that you have arrived at your stop? How many of you would notice a predator waiting for the next stop to grab your phone and head out the door?
2) After school, the mother leads the girls toward the CTA bus stop, she pauses to ask Rupa: “What street is this?” When they reach a larger intersection, Sprecher reminds the girls to listen for the cars.
Listen for cars? Most of us don’t listen to anything that is going on around us when we are crossing busy intersections. We are in too big a hurry, or distracted by one electronic device or another.
How often have you seen pedestrians step into intersections in front of your car without even looking up to see if your have stopped?
3) After they get off the bus a few blocks from their house, the mother tells Rupa to lead the way home.
Most of us now depend some type of GPS technology to help us find where it is we are going. We can see and yet we probably don’t know much about the area we live in. Such as, where might a predator hide while waiting to mug you?
Just because you have the use of your eyes doesn’t mean you should squander your sense of hearing by putting on your headphones and turning up the jams. If you used your ears like the blind you might hear that predator trying to sneak up behind you and avoid being mugged.
“Blind leading the blind”: Why not? They have learned to make full use of the gifts they have. Maybe they can lead us back to using all of our senses to their full capacity, and in doing so, teach us to be as personally aware of the world as they are.
“Enjoy the article? If you would like to receive email alerts when a new article is available just click the ‘subscribe’ button above.”