One of the most interesting things about a personal story is that it can always be told, and the way it has affected you determines how you tell it and your purpose of sharing it with others.
Previously, I had talked about how I coped with myopia. Now let me take it a notch higher and talk about the lessons. Over the course of my life, myopia has taught me certain life lessons:
One thing about life is that we are ‘skewed’ in one way or the other. No one has it all. Even with the advancements in science and technology, there’s always room for growth and development. However, you cannot ignore the fact that there are many who are proud, maybe due to one thing or the other they possess or the position they occupy.
I have learnt to have a modest view about life generally. The older I get, it becomes more real to me. Why do I have to keep worrying about sight challenges when others might be battling with one issue or the other? Theirs could be worse. After all, everyone generally puts their best feet forward. You wouldn’t know about their deep hurts in the dead of the night.
2. Being Real
In a world sliding into mostly ‘make believe’, being real is as important as it can get. One day, I had to wait for someone at an intersection. Behind me was a filling station or like the Americans will say gas station. In front of me was a road that joins to another road on my left, thus the intersection.
After a long wait, the person I was looking for drove by along the road in front of me. Despite calling my attention from her side of the road, I didn’t see her. Meanwhile, her husband who was the driver of the car kept on honking. I didn’t realize I was the one he referred to because I couldn’t see his wife from her side of the vehicle as she beckoned on me to come.
Just then, she called me on my mobile phone to inform me about their presence. I was with them in the vehicle when I explained my site challenge. I went on to explain to them that I thought the honking was meant for someone else. Barely a few minutes later, she was trying to describe a certain place, meters away from us, and the husband reminded her about my sight and she held back until we were much closer to the place she talked about earlier.
There has been similar incidents like this. I have come to notice that whenever I came clean with my sight challenge, it helped facilitate anything I needed to be done. If anyone could help, they will. If not, life goes on. I go for what I can. There’s no need to ‘fake it’ or pretend about it. Pity party isn’t even an option. Generally, people will naturally appreciate you for being yourself. No matter your previous experiences, being real takes nothing from you unless you want to be accused of being a fraud.
Related Article: Coping With Limitations: My Experience With Myopia
3. Sense of Humour
One of the things I try to imbibe every day is the sense of humour. It can be so offensive to some people especially those who want to share something ‘serious’ with me. The idea behind that on my part is to help them to relax and not to take any issue too close to their hearts. Where they don’t understand and get pissed, I persuade them. It’s good to be sensitive though.
Sense of humour equally takes the pressure of the situation off you and transforms it to the pressure of reaction on the person(s) you are interacting with. It kind of neutralizes any sarcastic or offensive motives. That doesn’t rule out the possibility of exceptions. For me, it generally works. There are people I have come in contact with whose intentions may be questionable. In order not to give them room to embarrass me, I make a fun of myself. In this case, the person has nothing to say.
I have once shared a story about one boy who wanted to fight me. He felt, I was helpless without my glasses until he charged towards me. As we mirrored stances of aggression atop the long stretch of customized four-seater desk of our school, an idea dropped in my mind.
Partly motivated by a desire to deal with this guy far shorter than I was, I simply removed my glasses and emotionlessly flung it through the window with my right hand. That was how the fight, which never started in the first place, ended. He backed off on seeing my action. I simply jumped through the open window and picked up my intact eyeglasses (unknown to him and other classmates watching the drama, it was photochromic and made of plastic!). I had thrown it on a sandy floor. The chances of even a crack would have been higher if the floor outside was equally made of concrete like the one in class. This event happened while I was in my fifth year of secondary school. The interesting thing about my action was that it was a spontaneous decision. I never thought it through but was convinced about it. I still remember it vividly today. By the time its bridge rested on my nose a few seconds later, the whole class celebrated me with an applause. I and the guy maintained a cordial relationship for the rest of my days in secondary school. You know, stuff happens. Life goes on.
4. Insight About God
Anyone can believe who or what they want to believe. For me, it’s been an amazing experience as a child of God. I have come to understand that not being healed of a certain condition does not mean God loves you less. Some get healed, some don’t. The most important thing is to keep walking in faith. Many miracles have come to pass in my life to make me not to feel less about myself or my life. I still subscribe to the line of thought expressed in Romans 8:28: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Like Abraham in the Bible who was renowned for his faith yet had periods of doubt, I still have similar days of faithlessness. Nevertheless, I trudge on.
Thanks a lot for your time.