Being born blind or being born with sight, but losing it later on. What do you think would be worse?

When ever I think about Stevie Wonder or Ray Charles, I wonder about that. Both are blind but one was born that way and the other was not. Stevie was born blind and Ray was born with sight but lost it later in his childhood. So, what do you think would be worse? To never get to see or to know what it's like to see but then have it taken from you?


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Most Helpful Guy

  • I am almost completely blind myself and in the process of becoming blind.
    In my opinion, losing your sight later in life is worse. Of course you could say that at least I can be happy for the things I was able to see and that is certainly the case (I'm very happy about that) - but because I know what I'm losing, the loss feels much worse. If you're just born blind you have no idea what seeing even feels like. Obviously you know that other people have this extra sense called "seeing" but what that actually feels like is almost impossible to truly understand for people who were born blind. Light reflecting from the retina... eh... that doesn't make any sense. It would be like me telling you that everyone except you has an extra 6th sense called "chinning". While that might surprise you and perhaps raise your interest, it probably wouldn't make you too sad or envious. You've been happy with your life so far and you managed to get around quite well. Of course the comparison doesn't quite work because blind people still experience a lot of obstacles but generally speaking, I don't think blind people who have been blind since birth actually miss anything. You can't miss something that you've never known.
    For me on the other hand, I know what I'm losing. I've mostly grown up as a sighted person. All my best friends are people with good eyes. I've attended normal, public schools. I basically live the life of a sighted person except that I'm disabled and experience a number of problems because of that in my every-day life. For the very reason that I have a tiny bit of vision left, I cherish this vision very, very, very much. I take great care of my eyes so that it would hold as long as possible. Unfortunately, no doctor can exactly tell me when I will become blind because my condition is very rare and thus not so well researched. It could happen in a few months, it could happen in 3 years, it could happen in 10 or 15 years. All I know is that I was born (I was already visually disabled then), my vision has continually decreased. And all my doctors can tell me is that one day, I will have no vision left (probably before I'm 45-50).
    It's hard to explain to you the pressure this has put on me already since I was a little child. I don't mean to be whiny but there were some very tough times. For example when I was only 11, a chief ophthalmologist at the hospital I have to regularly visit told me for the first time that one day I will be blind with 100%

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    • certainty, that this might possibly happen soon and that there is absolutely nothing any doctor in the world can do about that. Imagine being told this at such an early age. I remember I was so shocked that I was totally speechless and quiet on the whole way home while my mom next to me was driving and crying at the same time. Already at that age, I had to plan my whole life - for example my career - according to what has not happened yet but might happen. For example at age 14, you have to decide in Switzerland whether you will learn a job or take an exam and go to a school that will eventually allow you to attend a university. I knew I had to go into academics - I HAD to pass that exam no matter what cuz I couldn't possibly become a blind carpenter or something like that. And I'm still worried now. For example I have a beautiful girlfriend I love more than anything else and one big worry is that I will never be able to see our first child. It would break my heart if I would become

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    • @asker: That's very, very sweet of you to say that :-). But don't worry, I don't think you're being shallow or spoiled if you complain about your crooked jaw. I deeply cherish your empathy and understanding but I've always tried hard in my life not to come across as whiny. I want people to be empathetic and considerate but I don't want pity. You probably know what I mean :-).
      Also, I'm just a human too and I'm sure there are things I take for granted that maybe I shouldn't. There is always somebody somewhere that's even worse off than you. I am almost blind but maybe I sometimes complain about my fridge being dirty while some people in the world don't even have enough food to eat (let alone a fridge). We all take some things for granted (some more, some less). I think the important point is to sometimes hold still in daily life and be thankful for what we have. That's something I try to do. It helps you appreciate the small things in life, which I think is really great :-).

    • I do know what you mean and you have a good outlook on things, I could learn a thing or two from people like you that see things that way. I mostly live my life in pessimism cover up as what I call "realism". You have a good attitude about things, don't ever lose that. It's a good thing to have :)

Most Helpful Girl

  • it feels wrong to me to compare and pick worst of two peoples situations i know nothing about. losing a sense has the trauma factor to it. being born blind, its your normal but that doesn't mean you dont face challenges in life due to the blindness or dont have dreams to see. i'd rather just hear people out who have had either in their lives.

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    • I'm not trying to compare who's situation is worse, I think both Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles are both awesome and their talent is amazing. I'm just curious person and just wonder what would be harder to live with, being able to see and losing it or never having the chance to see. That's just curousity, not comparison I'm not that kind of person.

    • im sorry i know thats not ur intention and ur not a bad person for asking. i meant for myself. i can't give an answer. id like to hear both experiences as well.

    • Okay, sorry I misunderstood.

What Guys Said 7

  • whatever it is i think it's worse to lose something you had. someone who has been blind forever doesn't know what they're missing. not exactly. and someone who has always been blind has never known anything else. that is their norm. they adapted to it early on. someone who loses their eyesight has lost basically the most important sense. they had it, they know what they're missing. a sunset might be an extremely abstract thing to a person whose never seen one before. but to someone who has but can't anymore, its a lot more frantic desire.

    this is also why i think its better to have never loved. shakespeare was full of shit. it's not better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all. its better to have never experienced something then lost it.

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  • I lack a sense of smell, I can't even remember the last time I smelled something like a normal person.

    If you lost your sense early enough to forget it or never developed one in first place, you have no idea what you're missing. And if you do realize it, by the time it actually matters you have been adapting so well that you can live without.

    Blind people has a mental map, master sign language and has enchanted hearing sense, not to mention walking stick. Deaf people has either mastered sign language, lipreading, face reading or any combination of above.

    Take Tisha Unarmed for example, even without arms and a deformed foot she can everything we can, including swimming and driving just because she was born that way.

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  • Being born blind cause having sight and then having it taken away from me is a huge tease and slap in the face to me.

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  • one doesn't have to deal with differences because he's never actually felt a difference the other has the other will be forced to deal with a difference. that will make the person stronger or it will break them.

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  • losing it later on is worse.

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  • Born blind.

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  • Of course its easier to be born that way. Much easier

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What Girls Said 3

  • Seeing but having it taken..

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  • I think I would rather be born with sight and then lose it over being born completely blind. If I were to lose my sight I would still have the image in my head of my loved ones and things that I like. Its better to picture these things over seeing darkness. If I was born blind I would never know these things. All of my life I would have been completely in the dark.

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  • Losing is worse, they know how it was feel like & then not anymore : (

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