10 Cool Things About Being Colorblind
On Monday, I helped Nathan and one of his classmates with a science project on colorblindness. They planned to focus on Achromatopsia, which causes complete colorblindness. For the first time Nate got the full scoop on his mom’s and his Aunt Sherry’s complicated vision. In the process, I spent a surprising amount of time on a website dedicated to my rare eye disease. I learned something new—that less than 10,000 Americans have Achromatopsia. I’ll never worry about being seen as ordinary again. By the time Nate finished the final slide for his presentation, I’d joined an Achromatopsia Facebook page.
When people find out that I’m visually impaired and considered legally blind, they are most fascinated by my colorless world. It’s hard to make them understand that, having never seen colors, I don’t know what I’m missing out on. It’s also difficult to communicate how I appreciate beauty without color. I am fascinated by colors. When I ask, “What color is that?” I really want to know. I even have a favorite color—red. (Raise your hand if you want to hear the story behind that one.) I don’t know how the rest of you keep colors straight, but I think they are amazing, and I can’t wait to see them someday. I have a very dramatic scene scripted in my head of me on my deathbed and Jesus allowing me to see red before He ushers me to Glory.
It might shock some people to know that there are actually some benefits to living without color vision. Here are a few that I came up with this morning:
- I have no problem drinking a smoothie that is supposedly the color of pond scum mixed with fresh lawn clippings. As long as it doesn’t taste like those things, I’ll slurp it right down.
- If your clothes don’t match, I won’t notice.
- If you meant to go red and ended up orange instead, I also won’t notice.
- I will always think you look cute, no matter what horrid shade of pukey green you happen to be wearing.
- I don’t judge people by their hair color and makeup choices.
- If you start to go gray, I’ll probably just think you added highlights. (For this reason I’ve learned not to ask, “Did you lighten your hair?”)
- I don’t sink into despair when the hills turn brown.
- While I can’t see colors, I can see patterns (unless the shades are too similar) and really enjoy them. So if you’re wearing a floral-print top and I say, “Oh, that’s so pretty,” I’m not just messing with you.
- I love textures. I often wonder if I would appreciate them as much with the colors there to distract me.
- I have one more reason to look forward to heaven. (Note: I already have several friends eager to follow me around as I discover colors for the first time. If you’d like to join this group, feel free! The more the merrier! Exact time and place TBA.)
It occurred to me how tempting it is to look at someone who has an obvious challenge (I don’t like the word disability) and focus on all she is missing out on. Creating the list above reminded me that every weakness comes with hidden strengths and benefits woven in. The fun part is finding them.
How has God helped you discover benefits in what some might see as a weakness?
If you are interested in reading more about Achromatopsia, click here.