Jim Harrison headshot

I just have to share something that happened to me today that brought a tear to my eye, but also put a big smile on my face.

I was leaving Best Buy on York Road in Towson waiting for the light to change when I noticed a young blind man with a stroller and his young daughter beside him waiting to cross the entrance-way to the parking lot.

The car in front of me had pulled out too far, blocking their path from the sidewalk. I was about to gesture to the young girl that they could circle round and cross behind the car in front of me and almost got out of the car, but quickly thought better of it. Bad idea to disrupt his normal route in any fashion.

So, I waited for the car ahead of me to pull out. Then I got out of my Jeep and yelled out to them that it was safe to go, watching them, and the heavy traffic on York Rd, closely, letting him know he was fine and when he was about to hit the divider and when it was safe to proceed.

As they were about to return safely to the sidewalk and go on their way, the little girl turned and looked straight at me with a smile… and gave me a big thumbs up! Then turned to follow her dad on their journey.

In college, I did spend a lot of time visiting a blind woman who I met via CB radio. I learned a lot about how she dealt with day-to-day life and was quite impressed by her ingenuity. I also remember she was quite independent and would tell us to hush if we tried to help by doing something “stupid”.

When I saw the guy in my story above, I know he probably had his methods of getting around and I didn’t want to disrupt them, but it was also a very dangerous road and I suppose I could have ignored what I saw and just let him deal with it – but I thought it would be nice to show that someone understood while not being condescending or ignorant. I didn’t think – I just reacted. I think I did okay.

How has blindness impacted your world?

Add your voice to #MyBlindStory. Send your entry to blog@blindnewworld.org or use our online form.