“ I would rather die than lose my sight.” “I don’t know how you do it, I couldn’t.” People’s biggest fear after dying is to lose their vision and go totally blind. I have pondered this for a while now, I hear it so often I think that people think it is a compliment when they say things like “you are amazing I could never do what you do”. I do not take this as a compliment.
The fact that people would rather die than live a life without sight says so much about how people who are blind or partially sighted are viewed in society.
Recently there was a mass killing of people with disabilities because someone thought that people with disabilities should be euthanized. Why ? I feel like there should be a more complex question that I am asking myself but I just keep coming up with why ? I have been utterly speechless for days now. It is just unbelievably horrific. I feel so much pain and sympathy for all of those that lost their lives and their families and loved ones.
I have faced some pretty harsh criticism over the last year because I am in the public eye, and because I have a disability and I am in the public eye people assume I have no feelings. People have sent me emails and messages on social media after running in our provincial election like “you didn’t really think they would elect a blind person.” or “you were simply a pawn for a sympathy vote.” or “you could never be in political office you are blind, you would never be able to serve the people of our province.” or the best one “ who are you kidding, what are they supposed to hire a interpreter just for you at every meeting ?”
I have not said anything about these comments because I feel like 1. they are all ignorant uneducated people who have bigger issues than me being blind and 2. I have pretty thick skin and I do not have time for people like this. However with the lack of media coverage of the incident in Japan where so many people lost their lives simply because they had a disability, I feel like I need to speak up and show people the way others view disability.
My life has no less value than yours or anyone else’s simply because I have a disability. It is not a death sentence, I am not miserable and living a horrible life. I am however; a mother, a sister, a wife, a friend, a volunteer, a writer, an advocate, successful, happy and excited about life. Now why is being blind so horrible ? I feel like the only thing that is that bad about being blind is other people attitude towards my disability.
Until Next Time
Ashley and Rick