[nfb-talk] philosophy taken to another level then?

David Andrews dandrews at visi.com
Sat Jul 17 14:23:08 CDT 2010


Your statement of the "NFB philosophy" while it embodies the essence 
of the philosophy is actually not what was originally said, but a 
simplification.  Unfortunately many people think of the 
simplification as the correct version.

I believe the original statement was with proper training and 
opportunity, blindness can be reduced to the level of a mere physical nuisance.

We do not have either equal opportunity, or proper training in most 
instances, so the statement seems as valid to me as when it was first 
put forth, in the 70's I think.

I see it as a goal, and we are trying to increase opportunities for 
blind people and improve training.


At 10:51 AM 7/16/2010, you wrote:
>Ah! Actually, you bring up an exciting possibility that never occured to me.
>No, I can't honestly say that I've been arguing that the NFB 
>philosophy should be modified. The trouble is that I've always 
>believed that an advocacy group cannot be effective when its own 
>philosophy is that the problem it is organized around is fairly 
>minor. Why bother working for change when blindness is a mere nuiscance anyway?
>You're probably saying, "That's not waht the NFB philosophy means." 
>And I think it should be clear that I know that especially after my 
>dissertation about how similar  the NFB philosophy is to Lombardi's. 
>The problem, as I see it, is that it is impossible to avoid having 
>the philosophy to morph into something that blames the victim.  It 
>inevitably will lead to a situation where its a sin to ask for an 
>accomodation, any accomodation.  The only solution I see is to get 
>rid of the philosophy all together.
>Well, that's the only solution I saw until now. Actually, I'm really 
>excited about the idea you bring up. Can the philosophy be tweaked 
>to address the problems I have seen? I'll admit I'm very skeptical. 
>But it sure is worth some thought and/or discussion.
>Actually, I'd consider it a major victory if someone, anyone, would 
>acknowledge the problem itself. How can the NFB be effective as an 
>advocacy group when its own philosophy is that with proper training, 
>blindness can be reduced to a mere nuiscance? If I were President of 
>the NFB (scary thought, I know), I could go on for days about how 
>those 2 ideas are not really contradictory. But as a practical 
>matter, I just do not think they can work together. And you've got 
>to admit that on the surface, they seem quite at odds.
>----- Original Message ----- From: "Ray Foret Jr" <rforetjr at comcast.net>
>To: "NFB Talk Mailing List" <nfb-talk at nfbnet.org>
>Sent: Friday, July 16, 2010 9:34 AM
>Subject: [nfb-talk] philosophy taken to another level then?
>>Okay John,  So, let me see if I understand you correctly.  What 
>>some of us have viewed as your attacks on the NFB philosophy are 
>>actually not attacks at all; rather, they are attempts on your part 
>>to help the NFB fulfill and perhaps even improve on 
>>its  philosophy?  I want you to understand that I do not intend my 
>>question as an attack upon you; but, instead, I truly want to see 
>>if this is where you are going.  Because, if so, I think we may 
>>have the beginnings of a rather forward thinking discussion about a 
>>substantive way of moving forward that if we advance it to the 
>>leadership of the NFB in exactly the right way, we might perhaps 
>>gain ground not otherwise obtainable.
>>The Constantly Barefooted Ray!!!
>>rforetjr at comcast dot net
>>Skype Name:
>>On Jul 16, 2010, at 9:02 AM, John G. Heim wrote:
>>>I'm impressed with the number of swimmers on this list. Its a good 
>>>sign, IMO. It says something about the NFB philosophy.
>>>I may have given the impression that I disapprove of the NFB 
>>>philosophy but nothing could be further from the truth. Its very 
>>>close to my personal philosophy of life which is borrowed from Vince Lombardi.
>>>A lot of people think Vince Lombardi was the mean old coach who 
>>>would do anything to win. No, that was not what he was like at 
>>>all. His players loved him and still gather to meet each year to 
>>>honor him. What he believed was that life's greatest moments come 
>>>when you meet a challenge and over come it. That's what life is 
>>>about. That is what it is to be human.  You've got to have the 
>>>will to win, to be the best you can be. Strive for perfection, 
>>>knowing you'll never obtain it but on the way there, you'll find 
>>>three things. First, you'll do more than you ever thought you 
>>>could. Second, you'll find the struggle itself can be fun. And 
>>>third, , when you do succeed, it will be the greatest feeling 
>>>you've ever had. So when I went blind, I decided I was going to be 
>>>the best damn blind guy I could be. I learned braille, tried to 
>>>learn to play the violin, got a guide dog, and got back into 
>>>running and swimming.
>>>The beauty of Lombardi's philosophy is that whenever you run into 
>>>adversity, you don't say, "Oh, woe is me. Life is so 
>>>hard."  Instead the response is , "Well, what are you going to do 
>>>about it?" You don't seek out adversity but when it comes, embrace 
>>>it. Take it on.
>>>Not to create controversy again but like the NFB philosophy, the 
>>>problem with Vince Lombardi's philosophy is that it is easily 
>>>morphed into a mentality of showing contempt for losers. You can't 
>>>live Lombardi's philosophy and be satisfied -- well ever really 
>>>since perfection is impossible to obtain. You can always get 
>>>better. But not everybody has the same strengths and not everyone 
>>>can win.  And no one has any right to tell anyone else how to live their lives.
>>>anyway, I think you can see the simularity between Lombardi's 
>>>philosophy of life and the NFB philosophy. I would say, though, 
>>>that Lombardi's philosophy is a step beyond that of the NFB in 
>>>that it gives you a sort of method for carrying it out. The idea 
>>>of never settling for anything short of success is implied in the 
>>>NFB philosophy but not spelled out. I think Lombardi's take on the 
>>>NFB philosophy would have been that the most important thing in 
>>>life for a blind person is striving to reduce blindness to a mere 
>>>nuisance.  You may never get there but the most important thing is 
>>>to never be satisfied until it is.
>>>----- Original Message ----- From: "Steve Johnson" 
>>><stevencjohnson at centurytel.net>
>>>To: "'NFB Talk Mailing List'" <nfb-talk at nfbnet.org>
>>>Sent: Thursday, July 15, 2010 7:10 PM
>>>Subject: Re: [nfb-talk] swimming (was: Bard(
>>>>Hi John,
>>>>I think it is just cool that you are swimming.  I think the best I would at
>>>>my skill level is circles!  Good for you in wanting to be a tri-athelete!
>>>>-----Original Message-----
>>>>From: nfb-talk-bounces at nfbnet.org [mailto:nfb-talk-bounces at nfbnet.org] On
>>>>Behalf Of John G. Heim
>>>>Sent: Thursday, July 15, 2010 11:25 AM
>>>>To: NFB Talk Mailing List
>>>>Subject: Re: [nfb-talk] swimming (was: Bard(
>>>>If you swim laps and if you have a way to stay on your side of 
>>>>the lane, I'd
>>>>like to hear about it.  I believe most lap pools have the swimmers keep
>>>>right like on a road. You swim up the right side of the lane and on the way
>>>>back you come down the other side. The best I've been able to do is to swim
>>>>with my right arm flailing out so that i can touch the lane 
>>>>divider on every
>>>>stroke.  That doesn't really work very well.
>>>>It isn't really very helpful to tell me my skills need to improve. After
>>>>all, I already asked for tips on how to improve.
>>>>To: "NFB Talk Mailing List" <nfb-talk at nfbnet.org>
>>>>Sent: Thursday, July 15, 2010 9:14 AM
>>>>Subject: Re: [nfb-talk] swimming (was: Bard(
>>>>>A lane for yourself alone?  Why?  Is it your swimming skills that
>>>>>vastly need improvement; or, perhaps your blindness skills?
>>>>>The Constantly Barefooted Ray!!!
>>>>>rforetjr at comcast dot net
>>>>>Skype Name:
>>>>>On Jul 15, 2010, at 9:04 AM, John G. Heim wrote:
>>>>>>So you're a swimmer, huh?  Do you ever have to share a lane? If so,
>>>>>>how do you do it? I have never managed to do that successfully. Here
>>>>>>at the pool at the University of Wisconsin, I call ahead and they set
>>>>>>a lane aside for me so I can have it to myself. Its only a minor
>>>>>>sacrifice because there are usually several lanes with only one
>>>>>>person in them. So when they reserve a lane for me, it only means one
>>>>>>other person has to share a lane.
>>>>>>Have you ever done any open water swimming? I would like to enter a
>>>>>>triathlon but I don't like swimming tethered to someone else. I just
>>>>>>can't get comfortable doing that. It effects my breathing and I just
>>>>>>can't swim normally.
>>>>>>----- Original Message ----- From: "Wm. Ritchhart"
>>>>>><william.ritchhart at sbcglobal.net>
>>>>>>To: "'NFB Talk Mailing List'" <nfb-talk at nfbnet.org>
>>>>>>Sent: Tuesday, July 13, 2010 5:04 PM
>>>>>>Subject: Re: [nfb-talk] Bard
>>>>>>>I really like the new digital talking book player.  I do wish it was
>>>>>>>still smaller and lighter.  With all my swimming gear, lunch,
>>>>>>>back-up cane and everything else I have in my gym bag; it is still
>>>>>>>too heavy.
>>>>>>>-----Original Message-----
>>>>>>>From: nfb-talk-bounces at nfbnet.org
>>>>>>>[mailto:nfb-talk-bounces at nfbnet.org]
>>>>>>>Behalf Of Steve Johnson
>>>>>>>Sent: Monday, July 12, 2010 8:22 PM
>>>>>>>To: 'NFB Talk Mailing List'
>>>>>>>Subject: Re: [nfb-talk] Bard
>>>>>>>John, I have not tried one myself yet, so this is good to know.
>>>>>>>Thanks, Steve
>>>>>>>-----Original Message-----
>>>>>>>From: nfb-talk-bounces at nfbnet.org
>>>>>>>[mailto:nfb-talk-bounces at nfbnet.org]
>>>>>>>Behalf Of John G. Heim
>>>>>>>Sent: Monday, July 12, 2010 3:26 PM
>>>>>>>To: NFB Talk Mailing List
>>>>>>>Subject: [nfb-talk] Bard
>>>>>>>Man, I just got one of those new digital book players from the
>>>>>>>National Library Service.  You might wonder why a computer nerd like
>>>>>>>myself took so long to ask for one of those things. Well, I guess
>>>>>>>mostly the reason is that I have 2 tape players that I bought myself
>>>>>>>plus the one from NLS. So now I have to use the player from the NLS
>>>>>>>all of the time.
>>>>>>>But holy cow, is this thing nice. I downloaded a book and put it on
>>>>>>>a USB thumb drive and was listening to a book amybe 3 minutes after
>>>>>>>getting started. And navigation within the book is very nice.
>>>>>>>Your tax dollars at work.

                         David Andrews:  dandrews at visi.com
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