Good morning blind wisdom seekers!
I’ve been thinking about our blind ancestors a lot lately. The history and contribution that has gone before us, to get us to this point today. We are here because of what people in the past have done, good or bad.
Preparing for advocacy training in Auckland the other day I was tasked with welcoming the group to the room. I was up after Rangi, who did a very beautiful traditional Maori mihi (greeting) and karakia (prayer). It’s not the first time that I’ve noticed Maoridom acknowledge their ancestors, in stark contrast to NZ European culture which tends not to.
In noticing this contrast I decided to welcome our blind ancestors into the room, firstly the man who was considered the father of the blind, Valentine Hauy who, in the late 18th century was sitting in a park in Paris having a coffee when he witnessed something that changed his life. He saw a group of busking blind people, wearing dunces caps and making dischordant music much to the delight of the passing crowd. Valintine Hauy was so disgusted by this he decided at that moment blind people needed formal education. So, Valentine Hauy established the first school for the blind in Paris at the end of the 18th century. Somewhere our very own Louis Braille would later attend.
With the benefit of heinsight it’s difficult not to see Valentine’s act as being somewhat part of the chain that is our blind history. Today will be history tomorrow, so what is it we could be doing today to become part of that chain ourselves!
I will go away and ponder!
I think I’ll let one of our other blind ancestors help me:
“I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble”
Thanks Helen Keller! Look at what you did for the world!