Monday, September 29, 2014

Blindness. A Punishment from God?

Recently I have met several people, who seem to me to have made comments that see my blindness and the blindness of others as a punishment from God.

The thing is they conclude this idea for themselves, making comments like; "You will need to pray for God to forgive you." or "God will let you see eventually, when you accept his love."

But then they fail to ask me, if I see blindness as a punishment.

In short no blindness is not a punishment from God, Nature or any other supernatural source. Blindness is just something that can happen, accident, illness or deliberate injury. Blindness happens.

If God wanted to punish me, blindness would not be they way to do that. In fact for me, my blindness has been a positive matter in my life.

I cannot think of one area of my life which has not changed for the better now I have become blind.

This is not to say there are not times when blindness can bring about frustration. But frustration is fleeting. Punishment is long lasting and interminable. Punishment is demoralizing and leads you away from life. Blindness doesn't do any of these things.

Those who have said that my blindness is a punishment are often surprised when I say that I see blindness as a blessing. They think that I must be mad. After all I now live in a world of the sighted but I cannot see.

But I do live in a sighted world. Of course I do. But I LIVE. Blindness took away my sight, nothing else. I have memories, friends, a loving family and a handsome guide dog. That most of those came after I went blind is for me the blessing.

If God had wanted to punish me would He have given me all those things?

Blindness raises a lot of fear in those who are not familiar with blind people.  In the end don't let others perceptions of what you are be your guide. Look to your own knowledge about yourself and your life to create you world. You don't even have to believe in a Christian God, you can believe in whatever you like, as long as you are happy and comfortable with your own blindness, it is not a punishment, it is just a part of you and frustrating as it is there is a great deal to be positive about.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Fantasy Football and other Stories⌠█

You know your in trouble as a human being when suddenly your dog is beating you at fantasy football, when you go to a restaurant and people ask to pose with your guide dog in a photograph and your guide dog is invited to your local middle school soccer team practices because he walked over the pitch one day and the team won so he is now their lucky mascot.

I never imagined that these things would ever come to pass one year ago, as I waited anxiously for the 21st October to come around.

Then my guide dog would just be a guide, I could go out and work with him or her. Life would stay the same but get a little better.

Now life is completely different. Despite the Chicago Bears beating the San Franciscco 49ers the other week, Leif still won our Fantasy game and we are now going into week four with Leif at 3 wins to my 3 losses.

Last week-end my wife, Leif and  I were waiting to go into a restaurant for a meal and a complete stranger said how handsome he is. Then asked to have my wife  take a photograph of Leif and their party. So Leif is definitely gaining celebrity status.

Most fun though,  is the reaction of the local middle school boys soccer team. Leif was at the school with my wife a couple of weeks back while I was in hospital. She and Leif walked across the soccer pitch as the boys practiced. One or two of the boys patted Leif and the next day won their game.

Do you see where this is leading?

The next week the same happens. This week the boys asked for Leif to watch a home game from the sidelines. We attended, it was fun, the weather cool and nice to be outside. The boys played their hearts out and won in style.

Of course to them their own skill was only the partial cause. Leif was the galvanizing factor.

So anyone out there thinking of applying for a guide dog. Be prepared for celebrity in your midst. Being a lucky charm and losing to the best darn pickers of quarterbacks, tight ends and defensive linemen in the nation.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Fantasy Football

This week-end sees an important face off for Williame andGuide Dog  Leif.

"You see we joined the NFL Fantasy League. Just a little private league, four teams. My wife plays a team too and we have a fun team between us." said William today

"But for Leif and I this Sunday sees us in a full blown battle as Leif's team based around the San Francisco 49ers, meets my team based around the Chicago Bears in both our fantasy league and in real life."

Leif the Guide dog, looks william in the eye as William snarls for the camera. Leif the black Labrador wears a red neckerchief and William wears a Chicago Bears uniform shirt.
Leif on Left, calmly observes as William dressed in Bears uniform shirt snarls for the benefit of the camera.

Leif is coming off week one of the fantasy season with a lead of 107 points to William's 84 points.

Guide Dog Leif was his usual calm self at this mornings meeting. Commenting only by licking the face of the opposing coach. This was seen by onlookers as a promise to give William's team a good licking on the field on Sunday.

Guide Dog Leif licks William briskly in a manner which suggests his team motivation style for Sundays game
"Come on for a good licking"

In an interview after the meeting William exclaimed that : "It is something when I am being beaten in this game by my Guide Dog! Maybe it is time for me to show him who is the boss. "