The Seeing See Little

Back in April, I lost my sight for a week and it put my mind into an altered state. I began hearing and “seeing” things differently; I couldn’t quite explain it. As painful as it was, though, it also felt like a kind of gift. A quote recently republished in The Atlantic sheds some light:

I have often thought it would be a blessing if each human being were stricken blind and deaf for a few days at some point during his early adult life. Darkness would make him more appreciative of sight; silence would teach him the joys of sound.

Now and then I have tested my seeing friends to discover what they see. Recently I was visited by a very good friend who had just returned from a long walk in the woods, and I asked her what she had observed. “Nothing in particular,” she replied. I might have been incredulous had I not been accustomed to such responses, for long ago I became convinced that the seeing see little.   – Helen Keller, The Atlantic, January 1933

I wondered aloud if fewer senses means more creativity and it sounds like Helen might just agree — or at least wish that more of us would explore the many other ways of seeing we so often ignore.

3 Responses to “The Seeing See Little”


  1. 1 kayla

    She was so extraordinary and most definately inspiring

  2. 2 Novefirst Bucang

    After reading this, I came to realize more how blessed I am to have my sight. I can’t really imagine myself being blind and seeing nothing at all. I can’t imagine myself keep on stretching my arm just to touch and feel everything that surrounds me just to know what is it. I really thanked God because I am one of those who can see the beauty of creations that he had made, I can see the faces of the people who love me and the faces of my friends and especially I can see those people who intend to talk to me whenever they need to. Thanked God.

  3. 3 jonabeth polido

    I believe you need to be imaginative and creative to really appreciate nature. People like me get bored very easily

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