There are none so blind as…

…the one who will not see.

I bet you know somebody, and probably more than one, whose mind is so made up that he doesn’t want to be confused by any more facts. Some people are so sure they are right they simply won’t take another look… until they fall on their face. Consider:

  • Some people still wonder if General Custer took his last stand by ignoring good advice.
  • Or consider Bill Hanlon who was so sure “it won’t happen to me” that when he stared at a solar eclipse with his naked eyes in 1952 at age 13 he was blinded for the rest of his life. He later said, “People warn you about the dangers, but I didn’t think anything would happen to me.
  • And finally, of course, look at that bullheaded old Dr. Frankenstein. Against all good advice he created a bride for his monster when everybody knows, “Marry in haste and repent at leisure”.

It’s an old idea. As long ago as 1547, John Haywood, a poet and playwright to the Royal Court of England, wrote,

“Who is so deafe, or so blynde, as is hee, That wilfully will nother here nor see?”

So, since it’s such an old and revered notion, let’s all take a moment to have a little sympathy for the boneheaded among us.

OK. That’s enough. That’s all the sympathy they get… especially since we’ve all been there ourselves – so right that we’re wrong – at one time or another in our lives. It’s time to get over it. An even older saying assures us, “A burnt childe dreadeth the fyre… once burnt, twice wyse.”

Fortunately, there are a few things in life that it is hard to stay blind to. Some things can open almost any blind eye. Kindness, they say, is the language which both the deaf can hear and the blind can see.

It is always a kindness to help restore someone’s vision, whether in the mind or the body. And, of course, there are some who are blind through no error or will of our own. Nearly 3 ½ million Americans are legally blind, meaning 20/200 vision or worse, or a host of other visual impairments.

This week your Jamestown Gazette invites you to join in that quest to assist those who truly cannot see. You can never go wrong doing the right thing there.

The first eyeglasses, it is believed, were invented by an unknown scholar/monk in an Italian monastery 750 years ago when he propped a couple of lenses across his nose to carry on the ancient and laborious work of copying books by hand long before the printing press was invented.

Take a tour on page 1 this week with our Mallery Rockwell as she follows the Lions Clubs, internationally and locally, in celebrating the centennial year of their quest to improve the vision of people around the world, by now numbering more than 170 million. As long ago as 1925, Helen Keller charged the Lions to become the “knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness.”

A century in service to those who will see is more than a kindness. It is a vision for a world where all can see.

Read your Jamestown Gazette this week a little more thankful for the clear vision we share. Enjoy the read.

Walt Pickut