Coming back from upstate New York, Suzy and I listened to a wonderful program on NPR about blindness, and how people are learning to see without eyes using echo recognition. I recommend the whole hour to you I am sure it is on NPR’s Podcasts.
I was struck by the words and the personal story of a man who teaches this tool to children, and his premise that “low expectations” are the biggest roadblock to blind children being able to accomplish whatever they want to do.
Words such as “you can’t do that, you’re blind” reinforces a culture of low expectations.
How true are his words in even the broader sense. Fear, fear of failure, and even a parent’s love can all subconsciously cause us to reinforce “low expectations.”
I was especially caught by the concept that parental love and fear of injury, physical and psychological, inhibit the expansion of the possible.
Great stories, great accomplishments in sports, science, and the arts are the result of someone overcoming the “low expectations’ of others, even of those who only are doing what they think is the best.
Maybe you think this meditation is for the young, but think again. If you are older it doesn’t mean your expectations should be any lower.
We should all work at removing the barriers to high expectations, not only for the young, but for ourselves as well.
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