According to the Mirriam-Webster dictionary, the definition of "blind" is the inability to see.
However, there is a blindness that is much more egregious than the physical kind. It is the blindness caused by an unwillingness to see. This unwillingness to see is viewed in people who are locked into their own views, beliefs, prejudices, and close-mindedness. They are the people who are unable to trust that there is something different that could also be right. There is no opening for self-reflection or for an admission that something other than their own ideologies could be correct. That is true blindness.
This insidious blindness is caused by past experiences, manipulation, group think, stubbornness, pride, and our trusty friend/foe, Ego!
Blindness caused by unwillingness to see is harmful, not only to the blind person, but to the person or situation who is invisible or distorted by the skewed view of the blind individual.
Unwillingness to see is founded on fear--fear that in accepting something other than what we hold dear, we will die. Of course, it is not a literal death, but the death of our Ego.
There is a cure for this type of blindness. It is the opening of the mind. It is the lifting of the veil that clouds the vision. It is the realization that clarity can only come from dropping the fear and embracing the love, which exists in fearlessness.
With billions of people inhabiting this planet, we would be fools to believe that we are the only ones with access to the "Truth." That is just our uninformed brain believing what is does with no true foundation, only fabrications and well-composed stories. And we all have a story, don't we? Perhaps, it's time to listen to the story of others. Perhaps, we'll realize that we have more in common than we think.
In a recent book I read, The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris, there is a scene in Chapter 10 where Lale Sokolov, a Slovakian Jew and the camp Tätowierer, finds himself living in a block with Romany gypsies. As he's leaving his block, he says, "You know, in another life I would have had nothing to do with you. I would probably have turned away from you, or crossed the street if I saw you walking toward me." After a moment of silence, one of the men responds, "Hey, Tätowierer, in another life we would have had nothing to do with you, either." It was a powerful scene because the dire situation at hand forced them to actually see each other for who they were, to understand each other's humanness, and to realize that at the core, in our essence, we are all the same.
The first step in seeing again is to be willing to hear the other story. To withhold judgment. To not allow our Ego to taunt us, to scare us into running, into digging our heels. As long as we continue to do that, we will remain blind. And fear has once again won.
If we want to see again, then we have to be willing to do so. We have to release the fear and embrace the love. In the big scheme of things, we are nothing and we are all.
Basking in our ignorance is not the answer to clarity. We need to be bigger than that. Let's not allow past history or skewed views to shape our future. Or the future of others.
Generations of blindness doesn't create sharpness of vision, it creates more blindness.