Saturday, December 03, 2011
I read a story today in "Chicken Soup For the Ocean Lover's Soul" that really touched me, and I wanted to share it. In the story, a female diver was describing her encounter with a blind man on one of her dives. Although the man was totally blind since birth, he had become scuba-certified (he did his test in a quarry near his home in Michigan), and he decided that he wanted to do his first ocean dive in the Florida Keys.
The author of the story recounted how the man lugged his own dive gear with one arm while tapping away with his white cane with the other arm as he walked across the dock to the boat. Once he was on the boat, he put on his own gear and dropped backward into the water just like everyone else. The author was amazed at how well he handled himself. But her biggest surprise was what happened under the water. Although the man couldn't see, he reached out with this hands and touched everything he could. He opened his fingers, and fish swam between them as if they sensed that using his fingers was the only way he could "see" them. A large grouper came nearby, and he reached out to stroke its side.
When all the divers were back on board the boat, they talked about what they had seen in the water. The blind man said, "Did you see the angelfish? It was so graceful and delicate. And the coral were so beautiful. And how about that grouper? It was really something." The author of the story thought, "Wow...that man noticed more than I did, and he's BLIND!!" She expressed this thought to the man. He laughed and said, "We see with our hearts, not our eyes."
I just thought that was such a wonderful concept: seeing with our hearts, not our eyes. When we get to the point where we see ourselves as the beautiful people we are--through our hearts, not our eyes--we will love ourselves enough to want to live healthfully in mind, body, and spirit.