Social causes

Being the change because I #Dare2Stare

daretostare vidya sury

We take our eyesight for granted, don’t we? Until the fear of losing it looms large. Then, it becomes a matter of changing the way we see the world, and our lives in it. It is scary to think that there might be a day when there’ll only be darkness, especially when you’ve enjoyed the gift of sight.

I was born with a squint, astigmatism and myopia (short-sightedness). I still remember the millions of times my Mom has told me the story of the day I was born. Everyone ooh-ed and ah-ed over this pretty baby girl with the brownish golden hair. That is, until she opened her eyes. Pretty brown eyes. With a squint. It was the same with everyone who visited to see her. The high decibel joy would abruptly cease when this baby looked at them with her eyes all out of kilter!

My family didn’t love me any less for the less than perfect eyes. I guess I was always distracting them with my laughter-for-no-reason so much that they worried why I did not cry more often. (Just like my son!) Oh, born happy is what I was.

But then, back to reality – the squint was a very real problem. To cut a long story short, I underwent homeopathic treatment and eye exercises that eventually made it less noticeable. However, the fact remained that I did not have 20/20 vision, unless we’re speaking figuratively! *wink*.

So anyway, sometime in the 7th grade when I was relegated to the back benches during a class rotation, I realized I couldn’t see the writing on the blackboard at all. Turned out to be the writing on the wall for me and off I went to the optician. I found out two things. There was only so much he could do to help me see a little better – and on came those glasses.

Years later when I was about 20, and went for my routine eye check, the doctor suggested a comprehensive examination at the hospital to see if they couldn’t do something to make my life better. After a day of tests I got the verdict. I could undergo surgery and take the 50-50 chances at improving my eyesight or live with the status quo. I chose the status quo because I simply could not imagine the 50% of a surgery not being successful, as that was a 50% possibility.

As my Mom and I were returning home and were done thrashing the events of the day, she made me promise that I would make the best of what I had, always, no matter what. It was great advice that I promised to follow.

I know, promises are often like piecrust. Tasty and easily broken. Which is why I have developed specific habits to keep me in line:

  • Write a diary. I pour my mind and heart out. It helps me stay in perspective when I go back and read what I’ve written. When I read the words, I know where I am coming from and I know where I am heading. Who knows some day it may be good enough to become a book!
  • Maintain a gratitude and happiness journal. I list the things that make me happy. It is quick therapy that is an instant healer and mood-upper.
  • Make it a point to ask myself when I go to bed every day – “what good things did I do today that I am proud of and that brings my heart peace” If I have at least three things to list, I am good. If not, I keep score and try to make up the next day. Some easy ways are:
    –   open my closet and pull out two things I haven’t used for a month to give away
    –   buy lemons and make juice and go give it to the workers at the nearest construction site
    –   cook food, make packets and distribute to the folks sitting on the street – temples are     usually good places, especially Thursdays and Saturdays in my area
    –   donate to share the living/education/medical expenses at one of my favorite charities – on my list are schools for the blind, homes for the aged and welfare homes

An important lesson my Mom taught me is this: I do not need perfect eyesight to see through the eyes of love or be kind to others. I try my best, in my own way, to make the world a better place with the little things I do. I take good care of myself so that I may stay healthy and continue to contribute what I can. As a diabetic, I live in constant fear of losing my eyesight and I know what that means!

We all see the world differently. There’s the clichéd glass-half-full/glass-half-empty theory. Every so often, we need to change the way we see the world. Sometimes, we need to be the change. I am doing it by pledging to donate my eyes and my organs after my death. You can too – start by giving the gift of sight.

[Tweet “Give the gift of sight. Donate your eyes at http://bit.ly/Dare2Stare #dare2stare @dragarwals_eye”]

Dear friends, I challenge you to take the

“Dr. Agarwal’s Eye Hospital’s Dare2Stare Challenge”.

Watch this video:

This video from Dr Agarwal Eye Hospital aims to change the way people see the world in general, and eye donation in particular. More than 2.5 lakh blind people could benefit from corneal transplants from donated eyes. Sadly, most people are still unaware about eye donation. Did you know that 80% of blindness can be avoided with eye donation? According to the Union Health Ministry more than 50% of eyes donated in 2014 had gone to waste due to infections or delay of collection! It’s time for a change!

Every person donating his/her eyes can help two corneal blind individuals regain eyesight.

Will you be the change?
Will you join me in taking the challenge?

Will you take the pledge?

Let me know in the comments.

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4 Comments

  • Reply
    Darla M Sands
    May 27, 2015 at 11:25 pm

    I made sure to fill out an organ donor card as soon as I could. It’s seems a small and painless way to make great changes. Your mother truly passed on her wisdom and kindness, it seems to me. Best wishes!
    Darla M Sands recently posted…What’s Your Cowboy Name?My Profile

  • Reply
    MARIE
    May 28, 2015 at 1:09 am

    And you are changing the world Vidya. In such a beautiful and magnificient way. The people you share with are blessed. But as you say we must honor life and the chances we have to be healty and strong and well and safe.
    You are a lovely inspiration. Thank you for sharing these lovely thoughts and ideas with us.
    MARIE recently posted…World Mums Blog – Interview!My Profile

  • Reply
    Birgit
    May 28, 2015 at 8:31 am

    You know Vidya, your words are always inspiring to me and put a smile on my face. I now tell people, friends, family, and clients I see that to start to declutter, try to get rid of 2 things in a room each day and if that is too hard, try 2 per week. People respond so well to that. Thinking of something grateful is, at times, difficult but you have reminded me of my mom and her eyesight. She suffered from macular degeneration and when she lost her sight and could not do her Faberge style eggs, it devastated her. She could no longer read which also made her depressed but instead of finding another resource or looking for voice books she just dwelled on what she lost. I know her mom had this and her mom before so it runs in the family. I too share your fear but I can only do the best I can. I take lutein which is to help with this malady. It is a shame that people do not donate their eyes because so many could benefit. Now thank you and I am grateful to have you as a friend. When are you in my neck of the woods again??:-)
    Birgit recently posted…Birthday Crazy TimeMy Profile

  • Reply
    shrnidhi hande
    May 30, 2015 at 8:03 am

    We take many things for granted till it is too late. Eye sight is one of them
    shrnidhi hande recently posted…Cholamandalam Artist’s village on ECR ChennaiMy Profile

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