Niagara Gazette — “He’s blind,” she replied.
Apparently, the blind man, who was obviously a store regular, who carried neither white cane nor wore dark glasses, did not see that the man who had once stood before him was himself on a cane. And the man on the cane had no way of knowing that the man in front of him was blind. Even so, that could not have satisfactorily explained his misery. I asked the clerk, “What’s his problem?”
The clerk said, “We didn’t have the pinto beans that he wanted.” He was upset by this, and likely a lot of other things in his life, and I wondered how that situation could have been made different. If they had his beans, his expectation for others to make way for him would likely have been the same — even though others had no way of knowing of his plight.
It was obvious that each of the men, given their disabilities, expected others to consider them. Each had a reasonable expectation of a measure of courtesy from others. However, courtesy is something that is much too rare, even among those of us who have the blessings of our full faculties.
I have found that most of us, even the healthiest among us, all have both our own permanent and temporarily undiagnosed disabilities. We all are either crippled or blinded by or to something; and by those said disabilities, we have crippled our youngsters with privilege and pampering by giving to them the canes and dark glasses of everything that they want. They don’t see the world as it is, and unlike the two old men, they unreasonably expect the world to make way for them. When it does not, they become more like the blind man, and less like the crippled one who goes on with life.