Saturday, October 18, 2014

Thoughts on Blindness

Yesterday, as I was walking south down Main Street under the City Creek Skybridge and approaching 100 South, I stopped at the light and noticed three blind people about twelve or fifteen feet to my right, also waiting to cross the street.

There is a median in the middle of 100 South going from Main Street over to West Temple. It's made up of concrete bedding with plants, bushes, flowers, and small trees to beautify the street.

These three blind people were too far over to the right of the crosswalk and were going to walk right into the median. I thought to myself, 'Should I say something?' I never want to bother or startle anyone, especially a blind I cautiously stepped toward them and, in a soft voice, said, 'Excuse me, but if you're trying to cross the street, you're just a little too far off from the crosswalk to avoid the median.'

The taller of the three blind people cocked his head to me and told me to mind my own business.  Wow...mind my own do you like that?  I thought to myself, 'well, I guess I'll have to.'  Sure enough, these three blind people who did not heed my well-intended message, walked right into the median and both unabashedly and clumsily negotiated their way across the street.

For all I know, perhaps this man was fiercely independent...perhaps he was afraid of seeming vulnerable or unable to take care of himself. Perhaps his pride was too precious to be jeopardized by accepting help from someone.  I may never know...

But, dear Salt Lakers...aren't we all blind in one way or another? Don't we human beings deserve better expectations of one another? I have said before...and I will say it again...we have a duty, a watch out for one another, to protect one another from harm, to serve each other and to be kind to each other.

There will come a time when we all are going to accidentally 'bump into the median' in one way or another. I hope, if and when that time comes for me, someone will still reach out to keep me from falling and that I will recognize his or her efforts and that it is their business to be kind enough to prevent potential injury or embarrassment...just as I believe it is my business to do the same.

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