The gifted blind: Leading when others can’t see

In The Philosopher’s Kiss, a historical novel about the French philosophers who created the first encyclopedia, author Peter Prange describes an 18th Century Paris shrouded in impenetrable fog. The fog, mixed with the sooty smoke of that period, hung dense and unmoving between the buildings.

With the city sounds muted and their sight blinded, people bumped against each other in open squares or walked up to the door of the wrong house. Coach men felt for curbs with their hands. 

In those circumstances the magistrates called on the blind for assistance. The ones who usually passed their days huddled on the stones crying out for alms were paid to guide citizens safely through the city. In those circumstances Paris was a city that only the blind could see.

The passage in Prange’s book turns the old expression “the blind leading the blind” on its head. That phrase, based on a Bible passage:  “Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch?” (Luke 6:39) portrays the blind as less able, less than others.

In fact, the blind can lead the blinded. In fact they are the best candidates to lead others who have become over-dependent on only one of their senses.

The passage prompted me to wonder, on what senses have I become over-dependent? What am I missing? 

What unexpected resource have I been overlooking? 

About Arlene Somerton Smith

Writer, laughing thinker, miner of inspirational insights, sports fan, and community volunteer

Posted on September 18, 2018, in Arlene Smith, Arlene Somerton Smith, How do you define success?, Inspiration, religion, spirituality and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. This great review reminds me of a book I read recently: And There Was Light by the Jacques Lusseyran, a Holocaust survivor, who taught me to appreciate the unique vision of the blind who guide the sighted with a positive spirit. Great review, Arlene!

  2. Intense question, Arlene. I think I use my brain too much, instead of allowing my heart and ‘gut’ to lead me at times. ❤

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