The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision

The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision. – Helen Keller

You do not need to use your eyes to have vision.

You do not need to use your eyes in order to have vision.

What does that mean?
This is an interesting quote from a blind person about the difference between having sight, and having vision.

Sight is a function of the eyes, and allows us to see. This is something a blind person doesn’t have, but the rest of us have. While she thinks it’s bad, it could be worse.

Vision, on the other hand, is in the mind or the mind’s eye. It is a proactive portion of our imagination, and helps us plan and think about our ideas.

The quote states that while she is not happy with being unable to see, she feels it is better than being able to see, but not being able to imagine, to plan, to think beyond our meager existence.

Why is vision (and having one) important?
In the corporate world, a statement of the vision of a corporation is something which is expected along with its mission. The mission statement says what the present state and purpose is, along with what it does, who it does it for, and how it does what it does. It is focused on the present.

A vision statement says what the ultimate goal is, what they wish to do or accomplish in the future. It provides guidance and direction over time towards that end. In this manner, it is the inspiration for what will be done. It is focused on the future.

While most people don’t do these things for their personal life, both statements are useful to get a larger group of people synced up and working towards a common goal. Mission is about the present and how to do things now, while vision is about the future and the inspiration to achieve it.

That said, people without a vision for the future are in an endless present, without hope, without expectation, without guidance. Sounds kind of dystopian, doesn’t it? But with vision, even if it isn’t achieved, there is hope, expectation, and drive to achieve what you can see in your minds eye.

Where can I apply this in my life?
First, think about what you see for yourself in the future. Do you even think of it? Note that this is different than being present, which is focusing on what is going on right now in your life. Being present does not prohibit long range planning, hopes, dreams or aspirations. At least not to me.

If you don’t really have any future beyond surviving this day, there would seem to be a lack of vision in your life. You may have a mission, but that’s about it, right? For those with some dreams, aspirations or plans for the future, you have already applied it to your life, even if by chance.

Take a moment to consider all the different aspects and roles in your life. What do you do, with whom do you interact, and in what capacity? These are all areas which, if of sufficient importance to you, might benefit from you giving some thought to the future. What might your vision be of what you want to do, become, or accomplish?

Grab something to write with and write on, and make a list of the important aspects and roles you thought of in the prior paragraph. It doesn’t have to be perfect, and you can always change, add or delete items as your life changes and evolves. Of course you can skip this, but if you want to learn, you have to try, right?

Take a moment and think about what you want to achieve or accomplish in the three most important things you wrote down. What is your vision for each area in the next month? In the next year? In the next 5 years? How does that series of visions evolve over time? How much do you think you can actually accomplish?

Write some of these things down. Will you accomplish every one within the time frame listed? Possibly not. But if you don’t, so what? Priorities change, and our capabilities change as well. At one point I really wanted to play professional football, but that time has passed, as I’m now in my 50s.

At one point, working on cars was a passion of mine. I planned and had saved the money to buy a kit car. I even had some of the parts collected and ready. Then I met a girl (now my wife). Instead of buying and building a car, I paid for a wedding, a honeymoon, and a house, and built a family. Such is life.

Which of these visions for your future are most attractive? Which are the most motivational and inspirational? Perhaps it might help to keep those visions alive in your mind, to think of them each day. It is, after all, your life. You will get out of it what you are willing to put into it, and if you can’t see your vision, how will you achieve it?

A blind person, without sight but with vision, has hope, purpose, and direction to their life. With sight, but without vision, are you better or worse off than the aforementioned blind person?
From: Twitter, @jasonrspencer
confirmed at : Does anyone have a better source?
Photo by Abe Novy

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7 Responses to The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision

  1. Varun 3 September 2015 at 4:54 pm #

    Sir, please guide me how to write a mission statement.

    • philosiblog 4 September 2015 at 10:24 pm #

      Thanks for stopping by, and for asking a question.

      Mission statements are not my specialty. In fact, I’m only now looking into writing one for myself. I’m using the book “7 habits of highly effective people”, but there are plenty of web resources available as well.

      Fire up your favorite search engine and ask it to find you things like:
      writing a mission statement for yourself
      writing a personal mission statement examples
      writing a personal mission statement template or
      creating personal mission statement step by step

      Hopefully, you will be able to find something which makes sense to you. Just be sure to review it from time to time and make sure you’re keeping it up to date.

      • Varun 5 September 2015 at 9:44 am #

        thanks sir.

  2. drewdog2060drewdog2060 3 September 2015 at 10:11 am #

    I was born fully sighted but lost the majority of my sight at around 18-months-old. I can discern outlines of objects but not detail so, for example I can see the shape of a person without being able to recognise who they are.
    I agree, there are many things in life worse than being blind, I would rather be blind than stupid!
    I have a vivid imagination which I utilise by writing poetry and short stories many of which are available on Amazon. The life of the mind is incredibly important to me.
    As regards blindness more generally, I think people who are not visually impaired often think being without sight is far worse than it in fact is. With screen reading technology which converts text into speech and braille I can use a standard Windows computer and work full time. Also the making of adjustments by society (for example tactile paving letting a blind person know they are at a crossing) makes the life of people who have no (or limited) sight much easier.


    • philosiblog 4 September 2015 at 9:57 pm #

      Thanks for stopping by and for leaving such an insightful comment.

      I thought the bumpy things at the street corner ramps were rumble strips for folks in wheelchairs. I hadn’t considered their usefulness to someone with limited or no sight.

      I have seen small (USB based?) Braille readers attached to computers on TV shows. Have you heard of them or know anything about them? It seemed like a very logical thing, as a way of ‘reading’ what would otherwise be displayed on a screen.

      Congratulations for finding such a creative outlet and for not being too terribly upset with the world. I hope you get a chance to look up some of the other Helen Keller quotes I have posted, as well as the Oscar Wilde quote from the new book cover.

      • drewdog2060drewdog2060 5 September 2015 at 6:26 am #

        Thanks for your reply. I think the USB device may be some kind of
        scanner allowing visually impaired people to scan hard copy printed
        text. When I was at university in the early 1990’s I had a stand alone
        scanner, about the size of an old-fashioned photocopier. I placed a
        book, letter etc under the lid, face down on the glass panel and the
        text was converted into speech. Scanners are now much smaller and, as
        you say can be connected to computers. I have something called
        Kurzweil which allows me to scan hard copy material (the same name as
        the stand alone scanner I owned so many years back).
        I will certainly check out the other posts on your blog including the
        Hellen Keller ones.

        Regards, Kevin

      • philosiblog 13 September 2015 at 10:48 pm #

        Interesting use of tech, the scanner/OCR pairing. I wouldn’t have thought of it, even though I’ve had it available to me for over a decade.

        Thanks for reading this one, and I hope you find some of the other posts of use as well.

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