This week’s Daily Post Challange got me thinking about the sounds all around us, some significant and not, and what it would be like if they were absent. As a ruminated, I remembered something my sister and I asked each other while we were growing up:
If you had to choose between being blind or being deaf, which would you pick?
It’s one of those questions you ask a child when you’ve never experienced living without a sense and this post is by no means a thorough examination of the each disability.
My sister and I are nearly complete opposites so, not surprisingly, our answers were different.
My sister would choose to do without hearing. I can’t remember her reasoning, but I’m sure it was well-thought out based on her passion: visual art. She spends her free time taking photos, creating charcoal drawings and paintings (to see some of her work, you can visit her website). It shapes how she mentally “sees” the world. To her, not being able to see the beauty around her and capture or recreate it in some format would be unfathomable.
I, on the other hand, would rather be blind. Sure, I appreciate nature and the beauty of God’s creation. There is something captivating about the wild, untouched mountains of New Zealand or the endless billows and rolls of clouds as you fly above them.
But nothing takes my breath away like that silent moment immediately following a triumphant chord that rings in harmony. Music surrounds me nearly constantly. Well-performed vocal and instrumental music can wrap around me, wiping any other thoughts from my never-ceasing brain and carrying me away with its ebbs and flows. Imagining a world of silence leaves me feeling alone and isolated even when I picture people surrounding me on all sides. But for some reason hearing them without seeing them is not nearly as scary.
Of course there are things to miss about either one. I imagine running without sight would be difficult. Driving would be impossible. Interacting directly with people who aren’t familiar with sign language could be a challenge. All of which are navigated gracefully by people every day who didn’t get a choice in the matter. But it’s an interesting hypothetical exercise to step back and think about how your passions shape your choice.
Think about that one for a minute. Which would you pick?