If We Got Trouble

How often do you think, “I got trouble?” It happens for all of us, for some of us more often than for others of us. Even so, the hard truth is that there is seldom much we can do about the trouble we have right now. That fact not withstanding, our typical response to our trouble is to focus on the trouble we have right now.

But what if we are focusing on the wrong thing? Please listen and see if there may not be a better focus for your attention and energy.

3 Strategies If You Can’t See

(Guest Post) For those of us who can’t see, getting what we need and most of what we want is at times quite challenging. Sure, it’s challenging for people who see fine too. But for us, there are a couple of additional factors requiring extra attention. Let’s give them some thought here.

First, I’m only talking about those things we need or want that we would simply do or get for ourselves, if we could see. As it turns out, this can be a long list. I have discussed that in earlier episodes on BlindHow.net, so don’t need to review the list here. Suffice it to say that we each have a lot of items on our “would be easy if I could see” list.

For any of the items on our list, we have options. The easiest option is to skip the particular item, just get along without doing it or getting it. For me and most likely for you, the do nothing option is sometimes tempting and occasionally the choice we make. What we need or want is just not worth the bother right now. And that’s okay occasionally. People who can see do the same thing now and then. Whatever they want or need is just not worth the time and energy it would take right now. Their motivation is not strong enough, although they could do whatever without much extra effort.

But for most of us who can’t see and most of the time, doing nothing is not an acceptable option. Even if we can’t see, we are determined to do what needs done, determined to get what we want. I discussed that decision in the last episode of Blind How.

But how do we do that, how do we do what we want to do, get what we want? There may be more than three options, but I know of three general approaches that usually cover the challenge for me. First, I can get someone who can see to do it for me or get it for me. Second, I can enlist the help of someone who can see to assist me with doing it myself or getting it myself. Third, I can develop the skills and strategies I need to do it myself or to get it by myself.

It’s important for me to emphasize that each of these three options is perfectly legitimate at times and in some situations or circumstances. At other times, insisting on one option over another may be inappropriate or counterproductive. Those of us who can’t see need all three options and the ability and determination to use them as needed and as appropriate.

Each of these three options requires good communication skills and especially good conversational skills. Why? For the first option, having someone who can see act on our behalf includes our being able to help them understand what we need or want and what we think would be the best way for them to proceed doing for us.

For the second option, having someone who can see assist us with whatever we need or want involves even more and continuing communication. As for the third option, think of observing someone who can see while he or she does what you want to do, actively participating while you work together to do what you want done and then working increasingly independently over days, months or years to perfect your ability to do it by yourself.

Here’s something to consider. Each of us, whether we can see or not, have needs, problems and vulnerabilities beyond our individual ability to cope. We all need other people with skills, talents and resources who are available and willing to help us compensate for our limitations. Our challenge is to learn about those people and resources and then access them for our benefit. Meeting this challenge for those of us who can’t see, among other things, rests firmly on our ability, and on the ability of those who advocate on our behalf,to effectively communicate our special and general needs and wants, and the best ways to satisfy those needs and wants. Parents do this for their children who can’t see, teachers do this for their students and you and I will either do it for ourselves or it likely will just not happen.

If it is to be, it’s up to me, getting people who can see, to:

• Do it for me,

• Get it done by working with me, or

• You know, don’t you? Sure, I’ll just have to figure out how to do it for me. If you have a tip for doing it myself that you are willing to share or a question about how to do it yourself, pop it into an email and send it to Tips@BlindHow.net.

Introducing BlindHow.net

Can’t See seldom equals Can’t Do

If I tell you that I am blind, what comes to mind? Now if I simply tell you that I can’t see, how does the picture in your mind’s eye change? Likely the change is significant.

The point is that telling someone that I’m blind seems to bring to mind a mixed bag of ideas and emotions about what that means in general and about me specifically. For the most part, people think about what I can’t do, causing them to feel sorry for me. Of course, not everyone is so limited in their understanding, but most are.

If instead I tell them that I can’t see, people are frequently not sure what to do or what to say. This is good news for me. They are then focused on what they should say or do next and not on ideas and notions they have about blind people that may be true, but often aren’t true for me – or for most blind people for that matter.

On BlindHow.net, I share tips about things I have done and can do. If you or someone you know can’t see, the tips may be helpful. If you can see, they may help you get a better handle when hanging out with people who can’t see. I hope the tips and discussion also help you be slower to pre-judge what people can and cannot do just because they can’t see.

I also invite you to ask any questions you may have about people who can’t see, just how they do things they do, or whatever else comes to mind. If I don’t know, I’ll try to find someone who does. Just send your questions or suggestions to Tips@BlindHow.net.

Since I don’t know everything about people who can’t see and how they are able to do what they do, please share your tips and suggestions with me and with others who visit the BlindHow.net site. This will give us the chance to learn together. Along with sharing what you know how to do without seeing, be Shure to let us know how you manage to do it. Just send your tips to Tips@BlindHow.net.

For each new tip on BlindHow.net, I post the text version, along with an audio version that can be listened to as a podcast. I have one of my many voices read each tip so you can simply subscribe to the podcast and listen to it on your phone or computer. It is also available as a podcast on your smart speaker. Just search for Blind How podcast.

If that has us in sync with the purpose of BlindHow.net and how it works, let’s get on with it. I’ll start with a few tips I have perfected over the years, and you can join with a question or tip as one comes to mind for you. Just pop an email on over to Tips@BlindHow.net and I will format it for BlindHow.net and post it as soon as I can. Also, if you disagree with any tip or want to clarify, an email to Tips@BlindHow.net is the best way to let me know.

Thanks, and enjoy. Be well, do well and please join our adventure into a world where some of us can’t see.

When Not To Do What’s Expected

Here’s The Thing

Figuring out how to deal with it would be easier if I had an outline. I could just move from point to point, only needing to fill in the details as I proceed. Knowing what I was doing wouldn’t be necessary. I would always just be following the outline. I could easily convince myself that I was my own person, acting on my own initiative, but that outline would always be there. Once I figured out how to complete the current step, I would know in advance what the next step would be, and the one after that, and the one after that. Maybe not my plan, but I could feel like it was my plan.

But what is the it in figuring out how to deal with it? Unfortunately, there is little difference whether it is life itself or the project I am working on today, whether it is how I spend my week or how to peel a banana. There is always an outline, a set of habitual steps or usual procedures. Most of the time and in most situations, I know what comes next. I need only follow the outline.

Now and then, I come across a situation, circumstance or problem where knowing what to do or how to proceed aren’t obvious. There appears not to be an outline. Nothing is telling me what’s next.

Here’s The Thing

When the situation, circumstance or problem passes – and they always eventually pass – I look back at what I did or didn’t do, how I dealt with whatever was going on. From that perspective, I assess my actions or lack of action. I now see what wasn’t apparent. I understand why I did or did not do this or that, what I could have or shouldn’t have done. I am able to retrospectively recognize the outline I followed or perhaps the outline I should have followed. The outline was there for me had I been smart enough, clever enough or insightful enough to see it and then follow it.

I’m not thinking that there is always a best way or right way to proceed. Even so, I do think that there are always better ways and worse ways, more correct and more incorrect ways to deal with things. Sometimes the outline is explicit, including specific step by step instructions; and sometimes it’s little more than guidelines or implicit suggestions. Even so, the outline is there, encouraging me to follow along.

Here’s The Thing

Since the outline is always there either prospectively or retrospectively, seeing it doesn’t seem like it should be such a hit and miss kind of thing for me. Even more confounding is thinking that I see the outline but learning later that the outline I picked was the wrong outline. I don’t get it. A good or at least sufficient outline is always there, so why do I sometimes pick the wrong outline or skip over the outline thing altogether?

I’m embarrassed to admit to how many times I have glanced at the instructions for one thing or another and tossed them aside or even worse, didn’t even bother with a glance. Granted, that usually works out but sometimes things don’t quite get the outcome I expect. More often than I want to admit, the outcome is far worse than I could have imagined. That happens with written instructions but also comes up when I don’t listen to the directions or advice of people who should and do know better than I do. I just plough ahead.

At other times, I know I don’t know what to do or how to do things but decide to proceed anyway. I tell myself things like I’ll fake it until I make it or perhaps convince myself that I can get away with making it up as I go along. Since I’m confessing, the truth is that I think I’m smart enough and clever enough to get away with just acting like I know what I’m doing. …

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