It was in grade ten that the school nurse advised me to make an appointment with my eye doctor. She explained that I might require glasses. They would help me see things more clearly.
Some days later, after making me read random letters of varying sizes viewed through a strange contraption, the optometrist explained as he wrote out a prescription, “It looks like you are going to need glasses. They will help you see things more clearly.”
Two weeks later, the optician was fitting me with my first ever pair of glasses, adjusting the ear pieces, resizing the nose pads and checking how they perched on my face before shaking his head no and starting another round of adjustments. Finally, feeling that he had done his best with what he had to work with, he got me to look in the mirror for final approval. “You’ll get used to your new glasses. They are going to help you see things more clearly.”
The sun was bright that early, spring afternoon, most of the winter’s snow had melted. I started down the sidewalk for the first time in my brand new glasses. The eye clinic was located on a large hill in town so the first thing I saw was the large vista displayed before me; the homes were spread out at the bottom of the street, rolling, wooded hills were rising on the horizon, a vivid blue sky dotted with white clouds stretched beyond. For the fifteen years I had been alive, I had viewed this panorama countless times traveling down this street, but, it was on this day with my new glasses, the horizon stood out brilliant and sharp, the tops of each tree well defined and pointed. For the first time in memory I noticed details of that distant panorama which, before that moment had evaded my imperfect eyes.
“Wow!” I smiled as my brain absorbed the sudden rush of visual stimuli. “Everyone was right, these glasses really do help me see things more clearly.
It was at that very moment, marveling as a man born blind seeing for the first time, focused on every incredibly sharp detail of that far distant horizon, I walked into a recently placed construction marker driven into the grass next to the sidewalk. The corner of the wooden post ripped the sleeve of my jacket and the wet florescent paint left a bright orange streak pointing to the tear.
How was I going to explain that when I got home?
These glasses are going to help you see things more clearly everyone had told me.
That’s the day it became very clear to me, not to blindly accept everything I am told.