Have you thought about your friends lately? It is a subject given much thought to by those who wish to nurture relationships they cherish.
As we grow older, friends drop away and new ones are made. How are connections that turn in to lasting relationships achieved? The ties that exist from school may be long gone. How do you make connections that last with new ones? The common interests that bring blind people together don’t happen so easily in new relationships with sighted friends.
However interested they may be, people with vision often find blindness “The deer in the headlights” so frightening they can’t see beyond the perceptions they have of us? Do you have sighted friends with whom you have not just high regard but an intuitive understanding and trust which enables you both to share free and completely all you choose. Is the connection broken by the wall of blindness, misunderstanding, and fear that stands between you? How have you gotten beyond that barrier and opened the door to honest communication and how did it change your friendship? Has a sighted friend ever bared their soul and shared openly their fears of your need or dependency on them; If so, how did you handle it? Are there ways in which you took the initiative that got you both past the uneasiness and doubt. Have you started a new hobby or taken up an activity that brought you closer? Do you dance around or avoid certain subjects because you have found discussion takes you nowhere? It is true that in all friendships there are areas too sensitive or painful. It is sometimes necessary to agree to disagree.
In living a successful life as a blind person, how important is surmounting difficulties that take you to deeper lasting relationships with those who have vision? Have you made compromises you wish you hadn’t or bared your soul and wish you hadn’t? Have you given up on relationships with sighted people?
Connections are made all the time, on the bus, in a class, at work, or parties we attend. When you meet someone with whom you would like to develop a friendship, how do you turn that first meeting in to one that lasts? What help do you offer them? How do you decide it is worth a try or time to just give up the idea of a relationship? Has growing older or moving to a new town affected your ability to find new ones?
Some people believe we live in a sensitive age in which the slightest misunderstanding leads to hurt feelings. It takes courage to go beyond safe topics, but if you choose, you may fine lasting relationships you will cherish for a lifetime.
Is it possible that we have perceptions which are as much about vision that are as detrimental as those of the sighted who think too much about blindness. On the next Classroom of the air, join a discussion in which you can share your thoughts. It is in meeting in the middle that we truly make the connections we seek which take us to the lasting substantial friendships we want.