A little complaining and a small dose of whining is fine now and then, but both whining and complaining can quickly turn into excuses for not sucking it up and taking care of business. Probably because I can’t see, one example of whining and complaining that truly annoys me is “I’m blind so I can’t and no one should expect me to.” I suspect the root of this for me is not having much patience for anyone who keeps finding excuses for not taking care of business. (Feel free to substitute any condition or issue that someone uses as an excuse for not digging in and doing whatever he or she needs to do to succeed.)

This blind thing is a lot of things but not all that complicated. First, it’s a condition that ranges from mild to severe, just like most conditions. Wherever we are on that continuum, it’s likely to get worse, at least until our condition is severe. That be as it may, there is not much we can do about it other than to whine. – Never under estimate the real value in whining. Our condition won’t change but whining can help us cope.

Second, blind and blindness are also variables. The condition may be static or getting worse, but how we experience them is far from static. For example, I am on average about 5% blind. Sometimes I am nearly 0% blind and once in a while virtually 100% blind. So, what accounts for the variability? Not the condition for sure. It is what it is and isn’t changing since the lights are permanently off for me.

Here’s the deal. When I am in my house, sitting in my chair, listening to my music on my sound system, I am 0% blind. The condition has no effect and represents no limitation.

Alternatively, a while back, I needed to get my State ID renewed. I got an Uber and headed off to the ID updater. The Uber arrived and I got out, already talking with an Aira agent to help me by video call with getting inside and with finding the ID updater. Still maybe only 20% blind.

But, and there are those buts. Just as soon as I walked inside and had taken less than a dozen steps, the cell signal dropped. At that moment, I was nearly 100% blind. I didn’t even know how to get back outside. I did manage to recover from that very dark place with the help of a passer-by, but for a few minutes, it was pretty grim.

I could tell you a thousand stories about “Just how blind am I right now,” but I suspect you get the point. Yes, blind is a condition, but more importantly, it’s a variable. What matters most is how blind I am right now. FYI, I am sitting at my desk, typing on my computer using my copy of JAWS and am about 2% blind right now.

Here’s the challenge. Whether blind since birth or new to blindness, and whether the condition is mild or severe, the real issue is not the condition. Rather, the real issue is how effectively we manage blind as a variable.

I of course don’t know what your goals and expectations for you may be but do know that my goal is to do whatever I want to do, when and where I want to do it. My expectation for me is that I will develop and maintain the skills and determination needed to reach my goal. As part of that commitment to me, I will find the technology, services, resources, strategies, and advice that can increase my success. – Yes, it would often be much easier and safer to be content staying in my house, sitting in my chair, listening to my music on my sound system, but that simply doesn’t cut it for me, and I sincerely hope it does not cut it for you.