My vision began its journey downward in elementary school. I remember the optometrist telling my Mother that I was nearsighted and needed glasses. As time progressed, my vision grew worse, and now it is to the point where I would be completely incapacitated without a pair of contact lenses or glasses.
Sometimes I think about what if my vision became so bad that I was declared legally blind—or what if it got to a point where I fully lost my eyesight altogether. How would I feel about that? Would I cry about it? Would I be angry that I would never be able to see again?
Yes, I would.
Although it would break my heart that I would not have the ability of seeing my children’s beautiful faces, I could never imagine being incapable of hearing their voices—or any of the other sounds of the world. And even though the extent of my activities would become limited, I would still rather have that then not be able to hear the world around me.
Sounds have always played such a vital role in my life that if forced to choose between the two, I would place a higher value on my sense of hearing than my sense of vision.
Maybe it is because I had to place a heavier reliance on my hearing than my eyesight from such an early age due to my increasing nearsightedness. Or because after losing so many of my loved ones so soon (all 4 of my grandparents passed away by the time I was 10 years old and my mother passed away when I was only 15), as their faces became fuzzy in my mind over time, I held tightly to the memories of their voices. Or maybe it is because the majority of my most cherished memories are more sound-oriented than sight-oriented: music, the sounds of nature, the voices of friends and loved ones, my mother’s laughter, my father’s singing—I could go on and on.
Don’t get me wrong: I totally believe that both senses are equally important. And I have family and friends that I have witnessed firsthand live a full and thriving life with vision or hearing loss, and I highly admire those of fame who have done the same also. But I know that for me, my hearing is valued more simply because it gives a heightened awareness and appreciation of the world around me—which if my sight continues to decline that will truly come in handy.
Which do you value more in your life: vision or hearing? Do you think it is possible to choose between the two? Share with me below or share with me at: email@example.com.