I thank God for my handicaps, for, through them, I have found myself, my work, and my God.
– Helen Keller
THE GIFT OF BLINDNESS
Some years ago, while sitting in a restaurant, I noticed a man eating alone at the table next to mine. He looked radiantly happy, which was sufficiently unusual in itself, but I also realized he was blind. I could see his guide dog curled up napping at his feet. On the spur of the moment, I asked the man if I could join him. Soon we were deep in conversation. I remember two things from our time together. He told me that his blindness was the greatest gift he’d ever received in his life. When he’d rear-ended another car and was blinded instantly, it changed him overnight from a selfish drunk to a seeker of the truth. He said it awakened compassion and consciousness in him, two things he had never known about before. I was moved by this, but the second thing he told me left me in tears. He said he wasn’t sure exactly what love was, because he’d never felt it as a child or been in love as a grown-up. But his feeling for his dog, he said, was the purest love he could imagine. They were linked together in a continuous circle of service and gratitude.
A CONSCIOUS LIVING PRACTICE FOR TODAY – OCTOBER 12
Looking back over the powerfully painful moments of your life—your version of rear-ending a car and going blind—reflect on the gift that these experiences brought you. What did they allow you to feel that you might otherwise have remained unaware of?
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