To all the Kind Strangers

Sometimes, I think that having a disability makes me privy to the true essence of human character. I know what you are thinking… And no… My disability does not give me super powers. Although, how sweet would that be! My blindness does not allow me to hear your every thought or enter your soul with a touch of a hand. Unfortunate… I know! However, my disability does give a front row seat to interesting situations with even more interesting people. Maybe I get to see true character because I get to witness people’s reactions when they are faced with someone “other,” or something out of the ordinary. Most people do not have time or courtesy to put on a mask when they do not know what’s coming. Sometimes, these day to day interactions toss a grenade on my faith in humanity. Conversely, they also act as a source of nourishment to that previously destroyed faith.

Because I want this post to be a positive one, I am going to focus on those times where my faith in humanity has been restored. The first time this dynamic was articulated in my thoughts was 2 summers ago. You ready for this mind-blowing story that will restore your faith in humankind? The story that will make your heart sing notes of inspiration?

One hot, summer day in June, 2 blind 20 somethings were headed to a country concert. It was the blind woman’s birthday and the blind man has a man crush on Luke Bryan, so they were ready to party it up. After ubering to the venue, they realize that they do not quite know where to go. It is a pretty big venue. You know, the kind of venue that Luke Bryan plays at. So they just pick a direction and start walking. Suddenly, the blind woman realizes she led the blind man to the very front of the line. Some kind strangers in line tell them that the back of the line is that way. Thanks guys! So they turn around and start walking the 15 minutes to the back of the line when all of a sudden, some super nice individuals enter into the story. This couple, by the names George and Nicole, said just get in line with us. So we did. As we waited and sweated for what seemed like hours to get into the venue, we chatted with George and Nicole. This awesomely accommodating and blind friendly couple then offered to help us find our seats. Not only that, but then offered to meet up with us after the concert to help us navigate the mess that is leaving a Luke Bryan concert.

You know why this was awesome? It was awesome because they did not make us feel like burdens. They did not patronize us or act like they were moving mountains. They were genuine and ridiculously helpful. They made our night that much easier. One “sweetie” or “wow, you are so inspirational for coming to a concert” and this blind woman would have been finding her own damn seat. So when faced with a disabled person, ask yourself, what would George and Nicole do?

In all seriousness, George and Nicole were not the only people that made our night easier. The employees that showed us where the beer line was were pretty great too. Also, this random lady came up to me during the break and asked me if I wanted to go to the bathroom with her… This seems strange but was honestly a God send. Turns out, this lady was deaf and was like, I know what it’s like to have a disability and just thought I’d offer to help. So thanks random lady! I’d like to think I too would have the courage to uninvitedly ask if someone wanted to go to the bathroom with me but I am not so sure.

To be clear, these are not rare experiences isolated to Luke Bryan concerts. I was at a Brad Paisley concert a couple weeks ago and was waiting in line to go to the bathroom. These 2 girls introduced themselves to me and asked if I wanted them to show me where an empty stall was. This other random girl wordlessly grabbed my hand and led me to the paper towels. That was a little awkward but super nice nonetheless. Moral of the story… People at country concerts are nice! Although true… not quite what I am trying to say here… I meet nice people all the time. Like the manager at the restaurant who jumped my partner and I on the dining room wait list so that my seeing eye dog did not have to sit at the bar. Or the nice girl in my class that always offers to get me a plate of food when someone brings food for everyone. Or the random uber driver who low key walked me to the place I had an interview so I did not waste time getting lost in a giant building.

I think I say all of these things to say this. As a person who is blind, I am often put into situations where assistance from kind strangers is welcomed and super appreciated. So to all you kind strangers out there… Thanks for helping a blind girl out and restoring her faith in humanity.