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The Basics

Minimum Skills

What do you think the outcome will be if every child who thinks that playing baseball is fun, is told that his or her goal should be becoming a professional baseball player; or perhaps, any child who is interested in science is told that he or she will only be a success when awarded the Nobel Prize? “But no one would ever do that,” you protest. Unfortunately, it happens; and any of us may be one of the guilty parties.

Putting the issue into the “can’t see” context, all of us who can’t see have been challenged in exactly this way. If you reflect back, you will find a few examples of me doing it to you. How? I suggest a skill you might want to add to your personal skill set, and then I do it to you. I tell you that there are people who can’t see who have mastered that particular skill. Either implicitly or sometimes explicitly, I suggest that you can and probably should develop the skill, getting as good at it as those who have mastered it.

Why would I do such a silly and maybe even cruel thing to you? Why would I imply that you will only be successful when you have mastered a particular skill? I don’t have any excuse. I realized that quite recently.

My sudden insight came a few minutes after I ran into the corner of a door, banging my forehead. Yes, it was my bedroom door. Yes, I knew the door was there, just where it always is. Yes, I wasn’t paying attention to where I was and where I was going. And yes, I’m pretty good at getting up and around; but I’m not quite the master of that skill as I may have led you to believe. Nonetheless, I’ll still be walking around, trying not to bump into things, even though I’m not yet a master at it.

This is what I think the take-away is. For the most part, those of us who can’t see should consider developing those skills we need to do what we want to do, at the level sufficient to get the job done for us. There are a lot of skills we need, to do what we want to do, but we may not need to master any of them. “Good enough” is usually sufficient for our purposes.