Due to a misrepresentation of language, we usually refer to people with a disability – which in itself implies discrimination – as suffering from some physical, congenital or acquired disease.
Among them we can mention dwarfism, obesity, deafness, hunchback or stuttering.
Of course, there are other forms of discrimination against others. Because of their race, religion, color or nationality.
But I want to pay special attention to blindness, loss of sight. Not of mental blindness, of those who, taking the wrong path, blame the way, but of the blind, who were born without sight or lost it prematurely.
And I will mention a kind of list, undoubtedly incomplete, of blind writers who were a real pride of the countries in which they developed their creativity.
Three directors of our National Library were blind.
José Marmol, an Argentine writer who for several years directed the National Library, wrote the first Argentine novel, Amalia, an indictment of the Rosas government, a fact that forced him into exile in Montevideo.
Another blind director of the National Library was Paul Grusak. Born in France, he is also Argentine, by choice and out of love for our country. Died December 9, 1937.
He wrote a beautiful book “La Divisa Punzó”.
And the third director, practically blind, of the aforementioned library was ours Jorge Luis Borgeswho gave to his country and to the world works of immense literary value, and was blind during a great part of his life.
Also, in the last stage of his life, another Argentine writer, Francisco Luis Bermudez, wrote this beautiful sonnet that ends:
– “Because I checked anyway
That one does not enjoy what is enjoyed well
But after suffering it.
Because I got it anyway
This is the color of the tree
He lives from what he has buried.”
And the book of sweet children’s and not only children’s tales “Gulliver’s Travels” was created by an Irish priest in the 18th century.
He was also blind and his name was Jonathan Swift.
As the Italian Giovanni Papini was from the age of 54 when he dictated the book “El Diablo” to his granddaughter.
And he lacked the vision, in the last decades of his life, of the Spaniard Benito Pérez Galdos, on whose books two famous Spanish films were made, “Nazarin” directed by Luis Buñuel, and also “Marianella”.
I wouldn’t want to go on too long. But wouldn’t it be unfair to call the Frenchman Louis Braille an invalid who lost his sight at the age of 3?
He was a blind man who pointed the way by giving blind people the ability to read through an ingenious system that today bears his name.
And for those of them who possess some musical ability, Braille created a pentagram. This pentagram made it possible for a blind man of immense talent, Joaquin Rodrigo, who was his own teacher, to create a melody that he called “Concierto de Aranjuez”, with which he enriched the musical heritage of humanity, confirming that although there are no immortal people, there are immortal works.
Another blind man was the Swedish physicist Niels Dahlen, who won the Nobel Prize in Physics at the age of 42.
Dahlen invented in 1942 a method of intermittent lighting for headlights.
Sweden’s rocky coasts cause frequent accidents.
His method helped save many lives.
It is true that the blind man’s evening has no dawn, and for him every new day is a new night.
But it is also true that many men with perfect vision could walk normally. But they advanced without seeing.
Those mentioned today and many others could see without looking.
They were able to transcend their own shadows. They were truly enlightened ones who were able to fight – and defeat – the darkness.
These examples of gifted blind beings who “saw” much more clearly than others with normal vision are the most complete demonstration that many disabled or “different” in any sense can teach us something and even to surpass us.
Therefore, any impairment due to some physical circumstance is simply an aberration.
Of those who devalue them because of insensitivity, coldness or stupidity, I would say that these are the real disabled people who always do not know that they are disabled.
Because only the mentally blind discriminate against men because of their flaws.
*From Joseph Narosky.
More stories from Jose Naroski at A24.com
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“A son is always hope for a mother”
“Kipling and the Elephant Who Needed Love”
“To see deep, you must fly high”