Tuesday, 24 June 2008

The cottage & the mansion

Once upon a time there was a woman who owned a little cottage. Every detail of her little cottage was just the way she wanted it. It was very small, but it met all her needs. She was very proud of her cottage and she enjoyed having friends over to share the warmth of her home. She loved baking and would share her sweets with her friends. Another lady lived in a huge mansion. Her home had dozens of rooms, each with their own purpose. She had maids and servants to answer her every whim. She loved her home in all its glory. One day, the lady who lived in the mansion was travelling around the town when she passed by the little cottage. The lady who owned the cottage was outside working in her garden. Suddenly the lady from the mansion felt very sorry for the lady in the cottage. She had such a small house and she had to do all the work herself. She would never know the vastness of the mansion and how easy it was to have servants and maids do all the work.

Those of us who were born blind are like the lady in the cottage – said a blind person, providing us with a clue to this little story. We have never known sight so we don't spend time missing it. We have figured out how to function with what we have. (This sounds very much like Bjork’s fabulous lyrics for the song I've Seen It All, in Lars von Trier’s movie Dancer in the Dark: I've seen it all, I've seen the dark / I've seen the brightness in one little spark. / I've seen what I chose and I've seen what I need, / And that is enough, to want more would be greed. / I've seen what I was and I know what I'll be / I've seen it all - there is no more to see!) There are (and there have always been) so many parents who agonize over their blind child's loss. They know what it is like to live in the mansion and want that for their child, who’s happy with his or her cottage life. The real shame is when the blind child learns to envy the sighted because the differences are never let go by the parents. If you feel sad or guilty because your child can't see, then find some way to let go. These feelings will only consume you and they could consume your child if he or she learns them. Negative attitude is a far worse disability than being blind. So, let go!

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