Jerk School

You may assume that frustrating people generally and jerks specifically are born to the role. Not true. It requires careful attention and endless practice to frustrate consistently and effectively. It is actually a skill set that most of us cannot hope to perfect. Please join me with the 101 lecture directly from jerk school. If you aspire to frustrate, this is where to start.

Blind How: 5%Blind

This blind thing is a lot of things but not all that complicated. First, it’s a condition that ranges from mild to severe, just like most conditions. Wherever we are on that continuum, it’s likely to get worse, at least until our condition is severe. That be as it may, there is not much we can do about it other than to whine. – Never under estimate the real value in whining. Our condition won’t change but whining can help us cope.

Second, blind and blindness are also variables. The condition may be static or getting worse, but how we experience them is far from static. For example, I am on average about 5% blind. Sometimes I am nearly 0% blind and once in a while virtually 100% blind. So, what accounts for the variability? Not the condition for sure. It is what it is and isn’t changing since the lights are permanently off for me.

Here’s the deal. When I am in my house, sitting in my chair, listening to my music on my sound system, I am 0% blind. The condition has no effect and represents no limitation.

Alternatively, a while back, I needed to get my State ID renewed. I got an Uber and headed off to the ID updater. The Uber arrived and I got out, already talking with an Aira agent to help me inside and with finding the ID updater. Still maybe only 20% blind.

But, and there are those buts. Just as soon as I walked inside and had taken less than a dozen steps, the cell signal dropped. At that moment, I was nearly 100% blind. I didn’t even know how to get back outside. I did manage to recover from that very dark place with the help of a passer-by, but for a few minutes, it was pretty grim.

I could tell you a thousand stories about “Just how blind am I right now,” but I suspect you get the point. Yes, blind is a condition, but more importantly, it’s a variable. What matters most is how blind I am right now. FYI, I am sitting at my desk, typing on my computer using my copy of JAWS and am about 2% blind right now.

Here’s the challenge. Whether blind since birth or new to blindness, and whether the condition is mild or severe, the real issue is not the condition. Rather, the real issue is how effectively we manage blind as a variable.

I of course don’t know what your goals and expectations for you may be but do know that my goal is to do whatever I want to do, when and where I want to do it. My expectation for me is that I will develop and maintain the skills and determination needed to reach my goal. As part of that commitment to me, I will find the technology, services, resources, strategies, and advice that can increase my success. – Yes, it would often be much easier and safer to be content staying in my house, sitting in my chair, listening to my music on my sound system, but that simply doesn’t cut it for me, and I sincerely hope it does not cut it for you.

May I invite you to join the 5% blind club? Remember that 5% is only an average. I was about ten when I learned that I can’t play baseball, with the bump on my head to punctuate the point. I can’t do everything I want to do, everywhere I want, as is true for everyone else, blind or not. We are all limited in one way or another. Even so, getting down to 5% blind on average works fine for me and will likely work for you too.

Oh, I didn’t know that. You are too old, too lazy, too afraid, too impatient, too tired, and too sure you can’t do it to consider the 5% blind club. I’m reminded of my advisor in college when I was whining to her that college is just too hard. She told me that, with the possible exception of my mother, no one really cares one way or the other whether I graduate. She smiled and added that I would have to handle all of the caring for myself.

That’s it. If you were expecting some magical advice or an easier way, you’re out of luck. Just know that your slot in the 5% blind club is there just waiting for you. I sincerely hope I see you there real soon.