[nfb-talk] Batman

John Heim john at johnheim.com
Fri Feb 27 19:33:15 UTC 2015

The story was part of the Invisibilia podcast from NPR. It originally 
aired on "This American Life". But if you get the Invisibilia podcast, 
there was a bonus podcast where they made the point even better than in 
the regular podcast.  A woman who had gone sighted guide her entire life 
hired Daniel Kish to teach her echo location. After she had already been 
trained, she was out hiking with Kish and some other blind people and 
she fell off a cliff. Fortunately, she wasn't badly hurt. But she wasn't 
deterred either. I'm not sure where determination ends and foolhardiness 
begins. But I don't think hiking is especially dangerous.

I got hit by a truck a few years ago.  It wasn't some wimpy pickup 
truck. This was a truck from a construction site, either a dump truck or 
a cement truck. I was crossing with the light and I was in the 
crosswalk. The truck driver wanted to make a left turn and when he saw a 
gap in the traffic, he went for it never looking for pedestrians. But he 
slammed on his breaks just in time to stop right after he knocked me 
down. The next day, I started shaking when I had to cross a street. In 
fact, I was amazed at my own reaction. Intellectualy, nothing had 
changed. I was just deep down terrified to cross streets. It was coming 
from part of my brain that I didn't have concious control over.

But I realized I couldn't live like that so I forced myself to cross the 
street. Over a 6 to 8 week period, it gradually decreased until finally 
it was gone.

My guide dog is still terrified of air-breaks though. I don't want to 
retire him but I probably should. He scoots away every time a bus or 
truck slams on it's breaks even if we're on the sidewalk 50 yards away.

On 02/27/2015 10:50 AM, Steve Jacobson via nfb-talk wrote:
> John,
> I believe I understand and agree with what you are saying.  I've always said, for example, that the most important
> thing I learned in travel class was that getting lost was not the end of the world.  Once you have gotten lost and
> figured your way out of it, you are no longer as afraid of getting lost.  While I cannot claim to have broken my
> nose, I have several scars on my forehead from collisions with various objects, some before I used a cane when
> growing up and some through my own carelessness.  I can remember being four years old and running into a street
> light pole while playing outside and getting a cut that required stitches.  I was very upset at the time and I
> remember being afraid to go outside.  After a few days, my mother told me it was time to go outside and play again.
> Well, I went outside and soon got over it all.  I realize now, though, how very hard it must have been for her to
> do that, but how very lucky I was that she did.  I am a firm believer that if one takes a fall, two things happen.
> One learns a little something about mistakes they have made that will make it less likely that the same thing will
> happen again.  The second thing is that after getting up from a fall, the fall itself has lost some of its ability
> to scare me.  I think this analogy can be applied to a lot of things we do.
> I don't believe that we need to have a sink or swim mentality, nor do we need to be completely unsympathetic when
> we observe misfortune.  Still, if we can help one another not allow mistakes or accidents tie us up in knots, we
> will be doing one another a service.
> Best regards,
> Steve Jacobson
> On Fri, 27 Feb 2015 09:39:06 -0600, John Heim via nfb-talk wrote:
>> My totally unsubstantiated opinion is that  there is a direct
>> correllation between how well you handle being blind and the number of
>> times you've broken your nose. You'd expect that to be an inverse
>> correlation but it is not.
>> In other words, I think the more you've broken your nose, the better
>> you've been at handling your disability. I don't want to offend people
>> who have never broken their nose. It'sfar from a perfect correllation.
>> It's more like if you've broken your nose a lot of times, you're
>> probably also doing well as a blind person. But I wouldn't say that if
>> you haven't broken your nose that means you're not doing well.
>> PS: I left the list for the good of the list.  I'll leave again if I
>> think I'm only making things worse.
>>> On 2015 08:12 PM, Chris Nusbaum wrote:John, Welcome back! It's good
>> to see you contributing again. I hope you'll stay with us this time.
>> Yes, I listen to this NPR special as well and it was a good show. Daniel
>> Kish i'm times be a very controversial figure in our community because
>> of the amount of media attention he generates. Sometimes, I think, The
>> message that he and we are trying to convey â¬
 that is, the inmate
>> normality of blind people â¬
 can be lost in the aura of Mistry which
>> tends to surround is echolocation. However, I think the reporters who
>> did this show did very well in their assessment of the impact that
>> expectations can have on us. They get it, and sodas Dan. I would be
>> interested to hear the thoughts of anyone else who has listened to this
>> program. Just my thoughts, Chris Nusbaum
>>>> On Feb 26, 2015, at 7:05 PM, John Heim via nfb-talk <nfb-talk at nfbnet.org> wrote:
>>>> Hi folks,
>>>> First, I'm back. It's been years though. Surely, no hard feelings any more right?
>>>> Anyway, the reason I just could not stay away is that I just listened for the second time to the Invisibilia
> podcast about Daniel Kish. Daniel Kish is the blind guy who is so good at echo location that he can ride a bike.
> The point of the story though is about how expectations of yourself and others do so much to determine your success
> in life.
>>>> http://www.npr.org/programs/invisibilia/378577902/how-to-become-batman
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>> -- 
>> --
>> John Heim, john at johnheim.com, skype:john.g.heim
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John Heim, john at johnheim.com, skype:john.g.heim

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