A Lil’ Inspiration #18

Without Light There Is No Sight

Together we are breaking down barriers and revealing common ground!

Literally and metaphorically speaking, none of us “see” the same. I’m sure you’ve heard a number of variations of the phrase “perception is reality.” Broadly speaking, whatever the version, I am reminded of “not knowing what I don’t know.”

Before my vision was corrected I didn’t know I couldn’t see because the eyesight I had was “my normal” and my way of seeing the world reflected only what I knew. Once I received my first pair of eyeglasses my view of the world changed drastically. The miracle of eyeglasses brought my poor eyesight into focus—I could see!

Every year for well over forty years, having my vision corrected allowed me to maintain near perfect eyesight. Then within a blink of an eye I began my journey into sight loss.

We don’t see things as they are. We see things as we are. ~Rabbi Shemuel ben Nachmani, as quoted in the Talmudic tractate Berakhot (55b.)

Even though I was born with poor vision, it wasn’t until my eyesight continued to deteriorate my awareness of issues concerning blindness increased. Losing eyesight opened my eyes to many perspectives on how blind people specifically, and people with disabilities on a broader scale, are viewed.

While hatred and misconceptions abound, it’s way too easy to pass judgement on the other side of any given issue. Unfortunately for many, when it comes to disabilities, being the 3rd largest minority group in the world, we are the only minority group where anyone, at any age, race, religion, educational background, etc. can become a member at any time. Even so, I still believe there is a greater number of people who believe that everyone, with or without disabilities, has value.

Abigail, the white cane icon, is on a trip around the world to shed light on blindness. Yes, she is blind. Yes, she uses a white cane. Yes, she is altogether fabulous!

Abigail says “Together we are breaking down barriers and revealing common ground!”

Image: a picture of me holding a “My Friend is Bold, Blind and Beautiful” Abigail Style coffee mug.

To follow Abby’s movements be sure to connect to Bold Blind Beauty’s Facebook page.



  1. Yes, I thought it was interesting as well because I’ve always liked this quote and wasn’t aware that there are several versions of it. The Rabbi lived during the third century.

  2. Your point about people with disabilities being the only minority group that anyone can join at any time is a very interesting one. It’s completely true, though.

  3. Thanks, Steph. Some odd twists and turns with the MS lately. Having to re-group amidst the summer heat. I’m getting there!

  4. Hello Peta, thank you so much for visiting and commenting. I know what you mean about the first pair of eyeglasses. Many times I have likend it to coming out of a dark movie theatre on a bright, sunny day. The difference was remarkable and because my depth perception was off I had to learn how to gauge curbs, steps, etc. You are correct in that the quote has been attributed to Anais Nin however in doing further research she did not take credit for the quote. I found this on Quote Investigator at: http://quoteinvestigator.com/2014/03/09/as-we-are/

  5. I too walked through years of childhood not seeing very well. Finally a teacher realised I was not seeing the chalkboard. When the glasses went on it was like magic – night and day. Reading about your experiences brought back that memory.

    Just before I read this I was fortunate enough to receive a shiatsu massage by a blind man. It made me realise how much we take for granted and also how much not having sight enhances other sense such as, in this case, touch.

    That wuite which I totally love, its one of my all tine favorites I believe is credited to tge writer Anais Nin. I coukd be wrong, but thats the source I have for it….?


  6. Your word spoke to me tonight. Was it the because of the way my MS is turning? Was it because of how well my wheelchair served me in an outing today? Whatever the reason, I identified with your words and with Abigail’s journey. 🙂

  7. This is an excellent commentary on perception Steph. I love the rabbi quote. Fetching photo of you holding the Abigail mug…altogether fabulous!

  8. Sometimes, I think we as a blind community can see better than the sighted community. Yeah, yo go, Abigail!
    Sherri Rodgers

  9. Amen to that Heidi!! I strive to remind myself of this on a daily basis because of a situation in the condo community where I live. Shortly after I moved here I found out through one of my paratransit drivers that a number of people who are deaf live in the complex and since I can’t see there have been times I would greet someone yet I wouldn’t get a response. At first I took it personal but when I learned more about the community I had to adjust my thinking. When I’m close enough to some of the members of the dear community they acknowledge me with a wave of the hand which I can respond likewise. Everyone has a story and every day is not full of sunshine and rainbows. Thank you for coming by Heidi!! 🙂

  10. Hi again Cindy, the names of the photographers I personally know are Chelsea Stark and Amy Hildebrand. I also know a fabulous artist, Suzanne Gibson and I’ve included links to their websites. Contrary to popular opinion there are many talented photographers and artists who happen to be blind. Chelsea Stark: chelseastarkphotography.com
    Amy Hildebrand: bestdayeverphoto.com
    Suzanne Gibson: http://www.riversedgestudio.com

    Thank you again for coming by and reading and it’s so good to hear that you are learning from my blog.

  11. It sometimes seems to me that people are quick to judge anyone who does not ‘see’ or perceive as they do. Everything we experience colours our perception. There’s nothing like trying to walk in someone else’s shoes, though, is there?

  12. Hi Cindy, thank you so much for coming by and commenting. I also am fascinated with perceptions and communication. I actually know of two blind photographers. I’ll update this comment with their contact info when I get back on my computer tomorrow morning.

  13. Thank you for coming by and reading my post. I just updated the post with the link to Abigail Style. Please let me know if you need further assistance.:)

  14. I have always been fascinated by perception, or what really is mis-perception. I always wonder what I am not seeing, knowing or thinking, and I know when looking at the same thing, no two people perceive it in the same way. This is true of all human perception, not just sight.
    You can see childhood as a process of learning how to shut down perception so that there is agreement about the nature of reality. What happened to my daughter’s “imaginary” friend? I bet she is still there!!!
    My vision is very poor, yet I take photos. Photos in many ways are about feeling and perceiving more than seeing.
    I would love to see a blind person’s photos. Are there such? Blind people perceive the world differently, and photos might capture this in a most fascinating way.
    I am learning from your blog and thank you for it~

  15. Another inspirational post, and I love the sterling job Abigail is doing; raising awareness. Brilliant, Steph!

  16. Awe, thank you Suzy!! Yes, it’s very important to keep up on eye examinations especially as we get older. I remember before I turned 40 one of my eye docs said that I’d probably need readers and almost to the day I did. On the flip side that year I think my vision was corrected to the best it’s ever been 20/15. It was so good I felt like I could see through things, but I did need the readers haha. 🙂

  17. It’s so true that we all see differently – it’s actually quite fascinating when you give it some serious thought. I assume my eyesight is really good but is it really? I can’t imagine losing my sight, the idea fills with me with terror but it’s good to know there are amazing people in the world doing their best to highlight the plight of those with vision loss – like yourself and Abigail 🙂
    Suzy xx

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