Sunday, May 22, 2011

(Not) An Allegory

Today I am going to tell you a story that is going to sound like I made it up.  You're probably going to think I came up with this story to illustrate a point, to point out some bigger universal truth, or to make myself sound wise and spiritual.  However, this story is one hundred percent true and factual.  It is simply cosmic coincidence that it just so happens to double as an insightful allegory. 

Most of you are familiar with a certain trust exercise which involves one person leading another person around blindfolded (or just with their eyes closed).  The whole point is to illustrate how hard to it can be to trust another person with your safety.  Of course it's easy to assume they wouldn't lead you off a cliff or into a large body of water because they wouldn't put themselves in danger as well, but it's harder to trust that they are paying attention to make sure you won't trip over any rocks, tree roots, or (if its the rainy season) walk into any puddles.  

For some weird masochistic reason, I thought this exercise was great fun and it became one the occasional pastimes of my teenage years.  Living out in the sticks like I did also made it even more challenging and extremely treacherous.  I would mostly play with my BFF, Brandi.  I got so good at trusting her that I would walk beside her (eyes closed) at my normal pace of walking (as opposed to stepping cautiously and flinching when passing under shadows because it felt like something was about to hit me in the face). 

This place was TREACHEROUS!  Look!  A wild Tiger!

One particular fine day, we were walking around like this and I was SO confident in my abilities as a blind person that I was sure Brandi was leading us the wrong way.  I argued with her.  I pulled her in the direction I thought we should be going, but she was having none of that.  So, instead of simply opening my eyes to gain orientation and prove to the person who could SEE that she was wrong about where she was going, instead of doing that insanely smart thing and ruining the game, I DROPPED HER HAND AND CONTINUED WITH MY EYES CLOSED. 

Now there are any number of things that could have happened to me at this point.  Considering all the possible obstacles in my yard, I'd say pretty much the worst thing that could have happened was the exact thing that ended up happening.  Not long after my bold, blind departure from my sighted guide (going average walking speed), my face collided with something hard and metal.  I opened my eyes to find A) the bar on the side of the motor home to which the side mirror is attached (to high up for my outstretched hands to have detected) B) I was nowhere CLOSE to where I thought I was (big surprise) C) the throbbing pain on my face specifically my upper lip (it was a miracle I didn't loose any teeth) and D) I'm an idiot (Brandi could have told me that 10 seconds ago). 

I'd LOVE to say this story is something I made up as a wise allegory about how you should trust people and not walk around blind because you'll hit things, but I didn't.  Instead I experienced this story so that I could set an actual example of why you should follow the rules when doing the 'lead each other around blind' exercise.  If you don't trust your partner, don't be an idiot, just open your eyes. 


No comments: