The things we take for granted… someone else is paying for. If you’ve lived with impaired sight, you will always appreciate your prescription glasses or contacts. I have worn one or the other since 5th grade (minus those few years I pretended I had contacts in because I was just plain stubborn. True story.) I know first hand what it is like to wake up in the morning and immediately reach for my glasses next to my pillow. I am not so visually impaired that I wouldn’t be able to find my way around my room, however: I do walk with my arms at length to ensure I don’t smash into pointy objects.
I have always envied those who can jump out of bed and see the world. I have even looked into laser eye treatment. I can recall complaining about it, as if my astigmatism and nearsightedness is anyone’s problem but my own. I really should not be using the word problem. The people who truly have the trouble are those who can’t see nearly as well as I do, and cannot afford or don’t have access to what I’ve been taking for granted.
Think about it – what would life be like for you if you had poor vision or no eyesight at all? You wouldn’t be able to drive. You’d find things you love doing such as posting on social media, enjoying a scenic hike and shopping for a Halloween costume much more difficult, if not impossible. I know straining to see the face of a loved one could easily bring me to tears.
According to Vision Aid Overseas, 13 million children around the world need glasses. Many of these children risk missing their education because they can’t see well enough to learn. The first time I realized I needed glasses was because I couldn’t see the board. I told my mom and dad, and immediately they set me up with an eye exam. I am very blessed to be able to say this. Now can you imagine not being able to see what your teacher has written on the board, permanently.
The main reasons people cannot get glasses in low-and middle-income countries are: a lack of trained eye care professionals, inadequate facilities to get an eye test and to manufacture glasses and because the high cost of glasses is often too expensive for the average citizen.
I bet you’ve never thought of your eyes as the most important thing in your life. I know I have not. I have a new appreciation for souls without eyesight and the memories they are forced to make a little differently than myself. I have a new appreciation for my family’s financial position. I absolutely have a new appreciation for the random act of God that I was born where I was.