Having traveled abroad to many different regions of the world, sparked my interest in learning about different cultures. In order to fully understand people holding dissimilar customs, beliefs, and values, I had to put myself in their shoes by, in a way, becoming them. This would be done through both observations of consistent patterns, and mirroring their lifestyles. Immersing in any culture at any given time should be experienced by taking in a culture through both a fish, as well as a bird’s eye perspective.
Although my encounters overseas has allowed me to grow in more ways than one, and has taught me to appreciate the very little things most people take for granted, it was not until 2009 when I began to explore my own culture and identity. Prior to this, I lived in hiding; afraid of what people thought of me if they knew the truth, and being ashamed of the way I did things or wondered around, ways unlike the “norm”. I realized that I knew so much of others, but not of me and that had to be changed. What better time than at this point; transitioning into a Master’s program in a faraway place where my past was my past and my future was soon to come. Who am I and where do I fit in the world? What makes me unique, but at the same time, one who can live harmoniously among difference?
Accepting and being proud of who I am, while at the same time walking out of the shadows to educate the world about a distinctive sub-culture is what I hope to reveal in this article. As a friend quoted, “there is no bad student. There is only a bad teacher.” Let us explore this together.
What does it mean to be blind or have a form of blindness? Who are they? Does the blind belong to a culture or sub-culture of their own? Where do they fit, if anywhere, in the sighted America?