“For the Deaf, the eyes have become our most critical tools for life. With this pair of eyes, we see, we feel, we hear, we perceive, and with them we understand the dynamics of the world around us. But without this pair of eyes, we are as good as dead. But failing to recognize and appreciate the extraordinary significance of these miraculous tools of vison is fatally dangerous. Seeing- for the Deaf- is a privilege.”

  By Raji Ade Oba

Beyond the brain, the largely-mysterious three pounds of matter that sits between our ears, the human eye is, in my own opinion, what makes life what it really is-sacred, beautiful, and a gift? The pair of eyes is truly amazing. Perhaps, you do not know. Not the world’s most sophisticated camera can vividly capture what the human eye is capable of. Of all man’s sense organs which pick up information from the external environment, vision is considered to be the medium through which we receive the most information from the surroundings. It is what keeps one “alive”. Vision is what gives us a sense of life, of being, of hope, and of earthiness. Now, I am not going to go into the technical mechanism of seeing, which is itself, is a wonder to marvel at.

Yes, as humans, we are born with the ability to see. We do not learn to see, we just see. Now, think about it, there are hundreds of thousands of newborns around the world who did not enjoy what we naturally call our “birthright” when they were brought forth into this world. What happened to those wonderful babies? What of the blind and the visually-impaired, and the blind? Aren’t they supposed to be enjoying what we enjoy and what we often take for granted which is evident in our daily living, choices and attitude, especially at times when we are hit hard by mother nature.

 Now, take your attention off of this screen momentarily, look up and around you at the majesty of the physical nature and glory that abounds. Isn’t that marvelous? Could you close your eyes right this moment, turn around and make your way to bathroom? Try it.  Could you feel not just the pain of mobility, but the strife and strain, the bitterness and frustration in your heart and the thick darkness that hovers around you as you attempt to make some motion. Can you imagine what is it that I am talking about when I say that seeing is a privilege?

I am reminded of my first official entry into a certain varsity. It was a pretty wonderful experience. On the night of my debut entry into the institution, my family asked me what I thought about the school. Beaming with smile, I allowed my brain to do some recall of the mental images it had taken through my God-given miracle eyes before I texted back and said, “The school is so cool, with tree-lined roads, beautiful trees, sprawling edifices and accommodations for students. Mom, it’s green everywhere”. What marvelous are the eyes? Indeed, seeing is life.

The harmless incident that inspired this particular write up came about on one sunny morning. Gabby, a hall mate, with an uncharacteristically gloomy countenance, makes an exit out of his room onto the passageway. As Gabby rests the fold of his arms on the cliff, his face suddenly lights up as he feasts his eyes right out there, with moving cars and their honks, with beautiful people and their attires having indistinct conversations, along with fledglings flapping nearby, reveling in the cool nature of the breeze. Lo, you know what I see? I see Gabby’s world is now an unbelievable delight. I could practically sense everything just came into harmony, into perfect unison. Things just all make sense just with a subconscious efficacy of the human eyes, complemented with his ears. Well, I broke Gaby’s reverie and told him about the lesson of my own personal story; “It took me a life-changing event before I came to fully realize how blessed my life is. You can hear. You can see. Isn’t that such a privilege? Do you think you deserve it? No. it’s a gift. It is a privilege”, I calmly told him. Behold, seeing, truly is a privilege.

As we reach the first quarter of the year- a month of rebirth and rejuvenation, I hope that we are thankful, notwithstanding whatever life has bought to us. We enjoy the privilege of vision which is our most essential tool for life, for earthiness and for total development. But I hope we live this life responsibly.


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