always been self-sufficient, doing things for herself. Now she had to depend on other people to do the things she once did for herself. Through this experience she realized how much she needed other people.
After losing her sight she began to notice things around her that she had never noticed before. There was a young man who had been born blind who stood on the street corner. When she had her sight she never paid any attention to him, but now that she could not see she spoke to him and eventually became his friend. She discovered that he'd never had a birthday party. "So I baked him a cake and organized a party," she said. "He blew out the candles he couldn't see." He was delirious with joy. She describes her experience in most interesting terms. She says, "I felt so happy. I had come from that blind person on the corner to someone who had seen a need and done something about it." You see what she was saying? It was she who was blind -- blind to the needs of others, but now she could see.
"I've told people something that sounds a little cruel," she says now. "Everyone should experience temporary blindness, to see how our vision can give us such hangups, how we judge and condemn, and what that does to us all." She was able to help that young blind man on the street corner with love and kindness.
She gave him a birthday party. He met a blind girl and was beginning to fall in love with her when someone with sight told him that she was unattractive. As a result he stopped seeing her. "It brought tears to my eyes," the woman said. "He'd been seeing fine." Yes, he had been seeing fine -- until some so-called seeing person misguided him. There are two kinds of blindness -- of the eyes and of the heart. That is the first thing we need to see.
We need to be careful with our words. Someone has said:
Kindness is the only language that the blind can see and the deaf can hear.
Kindness: A Personal Experience Told By An Old Doctor
One day--a long hot day it had been too--I met my father on the road to town. "I wish you would take this package to the village for me Jim," he said hesitating. "Now I was a boy of twelve, not fond of work and was just out of the hayfield where I had been at work since day-break. I was tired dusty and hungry. It was two miles into town. I wanted to get my supper and to wash and dress for singing school. My first impulse was to refuse, and to do it harshly, for I was vexed that he should ask after my long days work. If I did refuse he would go himself. He was a gentle, patient old man. But something stopped me, one of God's good angels I think.
"Of course father I'll take it," I said heartily, giving my scythe to one of the men. He gave me the package. "Thank you, Jim," he said, "I was going myself but somehow I don't feel very strong today." He walked with me to the road that turned off to the town. As he left, he put his hand on my arm saying again, "Thank you my son; you've always been a good boy to me, Jim." I hurried into the town and home again. When I came near the house, I saw a crowd of farm hands at the door. One of then came to me, the tears rolling down his face: "Your father, " he said, "fell dead just as he reached the house. The last words he spoke were to you."
I'm an old man now, but I have thanked God over and over again in all the years that have passed since that hour that those last words were: "You've always been a good boy to me."
Sometimes acts of kindness may be the last acts we do for someone. We never know when someone's life will end. We should be living in such a way that kindness is a way of life, and as if it were going to be the last time we have the chance to be kind.