Your Good Fortune

I read something actually quoting me in another blog. Weird. Never thought of myself as quotable. Anyway, this person quoted me as saying this is the best time in the history of humanity to be going blind.

It really is. For one thing, we get to live! I had read it before but the American Action Funds article The History of Blindness states the blind were not seen to be good for much of anything. Blind babies were abandoned and left to die. Blind men were sold as galley slaves and blind women were forced into prostitution. In the middle ages the blind of Europe were shipped off to live in alms houses where they were supported through charity. Or not.

Judeo-Christian culture has not always been the kinder, gentler, warm and fuzzy thing we like to think it is. Encyclopedia Judaica nicely points out the Bible portrays the blind as being cursed. Great. Since all cases of blindness were attributable to God that meant anyone who lost sight had been sinful. I, for one, do not like where this is heading. As less than perfect people the blind were not allowed to be priests and there are some indications that, at times, they were not even allowed into the temple! How do you like that for a whole group being marginalized?

In the middle ages, some rabbis did not wait for God to punish sins. If they thought there was a crime, they did it themselves! Yuck. Really don’t want to do – or have done to me! – any eyeball plucking.

Things have been getting progressively better for us in the developed world who have low and no vision, but plenty of places it is still not great. You do not, I repeat do not want to have eye problems in India for example. According to the Indiatimes.com India has the largest blind population in the world and 75% of the cases are actually avoidable blindness! It appears there are just not enough eye docs to go around. In 2007 of the 37 million blind people in the world, 15 million were in India. Good grief!

Yes, they are trying, but they still have huge numbers of blind children. And without enough schools for the blind? There is not much of a future beyond being dependent on family or begging.

I would like to say India is a horrible exception to the rule for developing nations, but it’s not. It was said this state of affairs is repeated in every developing nations, just to a lesser degree.

So, yes, I repeat myself. This really is the best time in history to be going blind. And we in the developed nations are geographically in the best places to be. Thank whatever Power you believe in for your good fortune. Even being visually impaired and being able to pray is a gift. Two thousand years ago we may not have even been left into the temple.

written July 17, 2017

Next: That Preachy Zealot

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