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Monday, February 26, 2007

Blind or Deaf?

If you had to choose one or the other, would you rather be totally blind or totally death from birth?

This is a question I have thought about a lot in my life for some reason. Perhaps it's because I believe that these two senses are the most important of the five major senses, and that living without one or the other would pose significant difficulties and losses in life that the loss of the other senses might not necessarily cause. So maybe it is the severity of the loss that causes me so much fascination over this question.

I weigh the cons of deafness and blindness:

If blind, I wouldn't understand the concept of color, wouldn't be able to derive meaning from the looks on people's faces or their body posture, wouldn't fully appreciate movies, paintings, southern Utah, or sunsets.

If deaf, I wouldn't understand music, or be able to appreciate prosody, alliteration, rhyme, and intonation in language. My whole concept of language would be different, and there would be a barrier between myself and others because of this. Consequently, my world would be much smaller.

And there are probably other cons worth considering in each case, but these are the main things that I think of: life without color and visual beauty (not to mention the difficulty in navigation), or life without music and language as we know it.

For me, this was always a rather easy choice, because music and language just happen to be my two major passions in life. So naturally, I would choose blindness. But now that I recently got my vision corrected and can appreciate crispness of lines and detail at a distance, I'm finding myself quite pleased that I don't actually have to make this choice.

And I'm especially glad to not be Helen Keller.

But I'd like to know, my friends, if you had to choose between deafness and blindness, which would you choose?

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