It Takes One to Know One

14 Jun

by Jeff Flodin

Moment to moment, I choose to view this world as harmonious or hostile.  It’s an inside job, this choice I make, independent of the acts of others.  When I maintain harmony WITHIN, I find complimentary energy WITHOUT.  When I choose disharmony, I perceive malice and I behave maliciously.  What I feel, I project; what I project, I attract.

 Harmony implies equality, humility and humanness.  In harmony, I forgive others their mistakes asI forgive my own. Harmony equals acceptance.  Disharmony accentuates differences, separating victor from victim, us from them, haves from have nots.  Victims forfeit, then resent power, control and choice.

 For me, blindness comes with anger.  Anger at the gods who single me out and anger at people who disrespect me.  As victim, I display the arrogance that my trials are more arduous than yours.  Arrogance borne out of self-pity is the victim’s revolt.  It is reactionary to the nth degree.  It is disharmony of first believing I am less than, then greater than, my fellows.

 Back on the street, I realize that when power brokers jostle me, it is my own sense of inadequacy that triggers my resentment. Now a jogger hurdles my white cane and a motorist crowds me in the crosswalk.  How dare they?  I take it personally.  How easily I forget that what others think of me has less to do with me and more to do with them.  Insinuating myself as injured party in their life drama is so egotistical as to be laughable.  If I need to inflate my importance, I’ll consult my dog.  Yes, I grumble at the incautious, then dig deep in my harmony bag. Today’s mantra?  Things happen through me not to me.  I am the source rather than the object.  Repeat as needed.

 Jeff Flodin writes from a blindness perspective, but hopes his message applies universally.  He authors the blog entitled Jalapenos in the Oatmeal: Digesting Vision Loss.  His book of collected stories under roughly the same title is tentatively scheduled for publication in 2013.  He lives in Chicago and has lived with RP for twenty-seven years.


2 Responses to “It Takes One to Know One”

  1. Mani Iyer June 14, 2013 at 11:38 AM #

    Jeff, this is a very insightful article. It makes perfect sense but then why is it difficult to adopt? Is your harmony bag the trick? Can I borrow it for some time? 🙂 What does your harmony bag have to say about the feeling of worthlessness? Or rather, the feeling that others think you are worthless. I know perfectly well that others do NOT think of me as worthless and I am not worthless, but why does the feeling creep up on me all the time?
    I have a feeling that Randy thinks this is the best joke he has heard in years. 🙂 🙂

  2. Jessica N and Makiko June 16, 2013 at 12:58 AM #

    Jeff, this was beautifully written. As a person with vision loss, I enjoyed reading it and can relate. I look forward to reading more of your work.

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