I threw a post to my twitter followers last week, asking for ideas for “fringe benefits” of being blind. everyone thinks of the obvious ones – boarding airplanes first, for example – but there are others. Someone sent me this list, and while some of the pointers are funny (I will cover them here), others missed the mark so thoroughly that it feeds into the stereotype that blind people don’t care about being independent or what they look like to others.
But I refuse to go on a rant on this subject…. so a la Tommy Edison, here are some awesome benefits of being blind:
- If you read braille, even as a kid, you could read in the dark and your parents never found out
- The term “lights out” meant nothing to you (for my totally blind friends)
- You find out later that the person guiding you somewhere is immensely attractive (yes, this happens)
- On long road trips, you never have to drive! (in my case, I hand the driver food…)
- No one ever asks your opinion of the haircut they’re pretty sure is hideous…
- You’re everyone’s favorite person during a power outage
- You have TONS of ways to communicate; those “poor sighted people” seem to use visual cues most of the time
- You never have to buy a TV for the picture quality
- You can feel like a secret agent because you can operate a cell phone with the screen curtain on
- If you have a guide dog (well-behaved, of course) you can bring them everywhere
- You can hook up bluetooth headphones and “watch” movies through audio while simultaneously taking the dog out, doing laundry, and making dinner
On a serious note, as frustrating as blindness is sometimes, the support of others is amazing. Blindness has enabled me (and many others I know) to meet terrific people – sighted and blind – that I never would have met any other way. Whether it’s sharing cooking or fashion tips, providing accessible tech support options that don’t include a mouse, or simply listening and “getting it” on the occasions where blindness seems like the most frustrating part about your day, this community is one of the other best things about being blind.
How about you? What are some self-affirming and positive benefits you’ve found about being blind?
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