[Nfbmo] How to deal with well-intentioned sighted folks?

Julie McGinnity kaybaycar at gmail.com
Wed Jul 29 01:13:37 UTC 2015

Hi Daniel,

I understand this frustration.  I agree with the others that some
people cannot be convinced that we are truly happy the way we are.  If
you want to give educating a try though, there are some creative ways
to do it.

Blind people live the lives they (we) want every day.  Send the
well-meaning friend or family member an article about something
exciting the NFB is doing.  After all, we just broke a world record.
Maybe give them the book on the blind doctor Jacob Bolotin if they
would enjoy that sort of thing.

You can write a message thanking them for the article and for being
interested in blindness or issues effecting the blind.  Then you can
send them along to whatever it is you want them to see or read,
letting them know that you'd like to share something interesting that
your chosen membership organization of the blind is doing, for
example.  If their minds are open, you can educate or at least begin a
dialogue with the person in question.

I've met people who don't seem to want to be educated on the real
problems of blindness, but I have also met people who grow to
understand.  Don't write all friends off as well-meaning people who
can't ever (or don't want to) grasp our true reality because many of
them can and will love us for who we are.

On 7/27/15, celticcari36 via Nfbmo <nfbmo at nfbnet.org> wrote:
> Hi Daniel,
> I agree with Gale. My personal take on this issue is to just be you. Every
> situation is different. An article is just an article. You can read it or
> not but definitely give a thanks and a smile to the one sharing. If that
> person really wants to know more about blindness in any aspect, he or she
> will ask or the conversation will naturally flow in that direction. Bottom
> line, treat people the way you want to be treated. When people feel at ease
> with you and you are a ease with yourself  opportunities will arise. Hope
> this helps. It took me a long time to learn that and I had to learn it by
> myself.
> Peace,
> Cari
> On Jul 26, 2015, at 3:54 PM, Daniel Garcia via Nfbmo <nfbmo at nfbnet.org>
> wrote:
> I apologize in advance if this venue is not the appropriate place for the
> following rant.
> I am sure that some of you have received from your friends or family
> members
> articles about blind or partially sighted people recovering part or all of
> their eye sight due to some miraculous new procedure. I recently received
> such an article. This one is about an 80-year old fellow from England who
> recovered part of his sight when the so-called "bionic eye" was implanted
> in
> him. I don't know about you, but I do not want to become a member of the
> Borg Collective just to gain some marginal eye sight. If there were some
> miraculous cure that could possibly give me back some or all of my
> eyesight,
> I would certainly do my homework and weigh the risks and benefits of such a
> "cure."
> But as much as medical science is advancing, there is no guarantee that
> this
> supposed cure will ever come along. Meanwhile I have a life to live and I
> won't be sitting around waiting, hoping and praying for this miracle. It is
> respectable to be blind and to use the alternative techniques of blindness
> to live a normal life. I guess all this is my fault for not doing a good
> enough job of explaining Federation philosophy to those who are not members
> of the NFB. But this begs the question, should I even bother to explain and
> risk conflicts and further misunderstanding? I am sure some sighted folks
> may say that all this is a defense mechanism, that we don't really believe
> this and that if given a chance we would jump at being sighted. Should I
> just thank them for their article and move on then?
> Any insight would be appreciated.
> Best Regards
> Daniel
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Julie McGinnity
National Federation of the Blind of Missouri second vice president,
National Federation of the Blind performing arts division secretary,
Missouri Association of Guide dog Users President
graduate, Guiding Eyes for the Blind 2008, 2014
"For we walk by faith, not by sight"
2 Cor. 7

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