I did not think I’d be blogging until the new year. However, today I was thinking about what I’d like the blogosphere to know about blindness. Well, what started this thought train was a friend suggested I write about online dating with a disability. Then I thought what would my underlying message be as someone who is on a Catholic dating site? Well, why not connect it to a well-known sermon by Jesus.
I’m sure on some level you are familiar with the eight Beatitudes found in the gospel of St. Matthew; they are teachings from Jesus. For all who try to understand blindness, and for those who may be unsure of how to react to any disability, this one is for you:
- Blessed are they who refrain from shouting when they speak to me for I am able to hear your voice.
- Blessed are they who talk to me at a store rather than compliment my sighted child for “being Mommy’s good helper.”
- Blessed are they who talk directly to me and not to my sighted friend.
- Blessed are they who say good-bye to me when leaving so I am not left talking to myself.
- Blessed are they who believe my friends are not hired help, for I am able to make and maintain fruitful friendships and relationships.
- Blessed are they who do not think it humorous or a game to have me guess their voice when speaking to me.
- Blessed are they who do not find it appropriate to grab, pull or shove me when trying to orient me to my surroundings.
- Blessed are they who laugh with me when I tell a joke related to blindness, for you show that my disability is nothing but merely a feature of who I am.
- Blessed are they who encourage me to read a Braille menu if available and its prices and allow me to order my own meal.
- Blessed are they who allow me to use my cane for its intended purpose of mobility and orientation rather than using it as an implement to pull me in a specific direction
- Blessed are they who treat me like a human being, for I am just like you; the only difference is my eyes are authentically fake.
- Blessed are they who rather than assume I need assistance, provide me dignity by first politely asking if I need help.
Whether in-person or online, I thank you for seeing me for who I am rather than the minor limitation of not having sight.
Until next time,