February 26, 2019
I would gently ask that people stop saying, ‘I’m sorry’ or ‘I forgot’ to me. There are times when someone might say, “Wow! That whole field is covered with snow geese! Take a look!”… realize in the next moment that I am unable to see them. Then they will say, “Oh, I’m sorry. I forgot”. Sometimes someone will approach me without first letting me know they are there and I am startled. “Oh, I’m sorry. I forgot.” Or someone will walk away and I am still in conversation with them; not realizing they already left the space. “Oh”, they will return and say, “I’m sorry. I forgot”.
I am here to tell you, it is alright. There is plenty of room for helping each other feel comfortable in these situations.
I share with you, that it is perfectly alright to say words like ‘see’ and ‘look’. There are many words I use to greet my congregation every Sunday. Sometimes, I say, “It is good to see everyone gathered here this morning.” These words are a part of everyone’s common vocabulary. When avoiding these words, conversations may be awkward for both sides of the conversation.
I also share with you some tips for a sighted person walking with a blind person. When walking, the person with low vision will hold your arm right above the elbow. The blind person will walk about a half step behind you. The sighted person should always check for obstacles and explain them to the blind person as they walk. When in a crowd or narrow spaces, the blind person should walk behind a sighted person. The sighted person should announce the type of approaching space and which way to move through the space.
One more thing: If you need to speak to me, please make some noise or call me by name and tell me who you are – and I promise I won’t jump out of my shoes!
Those are some tips to help us better share our space together.
So – when I am walking in the park with you, tell me unapologetically to “Look at that cardinal!” When we are walking downtown Bethlehem, don’t be afraid to tell me there is a parking meter on my path!
Thank you! I am still learning. There is always a new situation unfolding that requires me to ‘look’ and ‘see’ how I will handle it!