So Others May Have / GIFTING TO: Foundation Fighting Blindness (DAY 4)



Today (Black Friday), I had no plans of heading to the shops in search of bargains.  Instead I spent the morning with an old friend planting tulips and other spring bulbs.  The skies overhead were clear blue and the warm weather permitted us to work without a jacket; on the way home this evening I heard about the ruckus at the Walmart, and wondered why some individuals would prefer to spend their time in pursuit of more stuff, instead of out enjoying nature, biking, visiting the museums, and so forth.  It seems that advertisers and corporate CEO's have shrewdly capitalized on the emptiness -- found within many Americans who blindly pursue every object imaginable -- with the enticing labels of BIGGER, FASTER, CHEAPER, SALE BARGAIN, TWO FOR THE PRICE OF ONE, or FREE.  The latter always makes me cringe, for as we all should have realized by now, nothing is every free, and the price we will invariably incur comes at a high cost to our national economy where we cannot compete with cheap imports; as well as the high interest and hidden charges on credit cards, or the unfulfilling jobs to which many commit themselves as they, almost trance-like, accumulate larger quantities of celebrity-endorsed purses, designer clothing, electronic games, sporting equipment, collectibles for the home, Victoria's Secret lingerie, etc. etc.  I shudder to think of the melee predicted on Boxing Day.

I recently had the pleasure of watching a 2005 Singaporean movie entitled Be With Me, which was superb.  Director Eric Khoo smartly weaves three stories about love and communication into a beautifully taut narrative that is moving, fresh, and satisfying.  Central to the narrative is the true story of Theresa Poh Lin Chan (who plays herself) who went blind and deaf at an early age.  She writes of living in the prison of her mind; she, unable to communicate and in despair, without hope, contemplates suicide.  By sheer luck, she is sent to special schools where she learns to communicate through Braille, and is able to get an education.  I found her character (as well as her life-story) very inspiring, and lately have been wondering if I could have been as brave and resilient as she is (under the disadvantages of being both deaf and blind). As a visual artist, I am fascinated by braver souls, who by sheer will and determination, triumph over this state of being which scares me to no end. 

 A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to meet Davida Luehrs, who at our Lions Club meeting, passionately spoke of her organization, Foundation Fighting Blindness, and of its primary goal, which is ' to drive the research that would lead to preventions, treatments, and cures for the entire spectrum of blinding retinal diseases -- including macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa, and Usher syndrome -- that together affect more than 10 million Americans and millions more throughout the world.'  Davida shared that she was slowly going blind, and participation in the Foundation had become her life's work with a commitment to raising awareness of the Foundation's mission.  She hoped that with sufficient funding for more advanced research, the entire spectrum of retinal degenerative diseases could be eradicated.  I wish that under similar circumstances, I would display the grace and strength that she did in her heartfelt presentation.  Please visit the Foundation Fighting Blindness' website ( or youtube to learn more about the remarkable projects that they have undertaken to eradicate blindness.  During this time of holiday sharing, please make a donation to the Foundation, consider having your company become a Corporate Sponsor, or if time allows, become a volunteer.  If you see opportunities for you to make a difference, seize them!


Tonight's soundtrack is MASMOD (Lithograph) courtesy of DEWTONE RADIO....


Popular posts from this blog