National Federation of the Blind
By Suzanne Westhaver
Believe. Believe in yourself. And Live Independently, because Nothing Determines your success more than you.
I hope you can envision the image in your mind. I read somewhere that success was once an idea until it was developed. Ultimately we hold the key to our success. We can hang around complaining how unfair life is and how if someone would just give us that break, we could be a success, but ultimately, we decide. We can blame our lack of success on the misconceptions and stereotypes the sighted have about the blind-- Sitting around, complaining about how unfair life is, will get you nowhere but sitting around. Envision your success. Take the steps to make it happen. No one will ever believe in someone who can't believe in herself. It begins with belief, but until you put that belief into action nothing can happen.
The day after I wrote
those words down, I attended a seminar about a business opportunity. When
I arrived, I got the "let's drag the blind girl around" routine.
People wanted to help me get to my chair, and they wanted to get me coffee
and treat me like I couldn't help myself. I was gracious and light-hearted.
Instead of getting upset, I gave them my image. I was confident, unashamed
of my cane or my blindness. While sighted participants took notes on paper,
I used my personal note taker. During the lunch break I had the opportunity
to chat with people. There were questions about my note taker and a few
about my blindness--was I a total, how long had I been blind. I answered
and moved the conversation on to the topic of the seminar, giving my thoughts
and ideas. One of the speakers asked me if there was anything I couldn't
learn. I thought about it for a moment then laughed. "I don't think
I could learn to fly a plane, and I wouldn't apply for a job as a truck
driver," I replied. By the end of the seminar, I was on equal ground.
All I can say is:
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|Updated March 14, 2003|