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                   Learning to See !!!

When he was born, George W. Campbell was blind. “Bilateral Congential
cataracts,” the doctor called it. George’s father looked at the doctor, not
wanting to believe. “Isn’t there anything you can do ?  Wouldn’t an
operation help ?”

“No,” said the doctor. “As of now, we know of no way to treat this
condition.” George Campbell couldn’t see, but the love and faith of his
parents made his life rich. As a very young boy, he did not know that he
was missing anything.

And them when George was six years old, something happened which he
wasn’t able to understand. One afternoon, he was playing with another
youngster. The other boy, forgetting that George was blind, tossed a ball
to him, “Look out! It’ll hit you!”

The ball did hit George - and nothing in his life was quite the same after
that. George was not hurt, but he was greatly puzzled. Later he asked
his mother: “how could Bill know what’s going to happen to me before I
knew it?”

His mother sighed, for now the moment she dreaded had arrived. Now it
was necessary for her to tell he son for the first time: “You are blind.”
And here is how she did it.

“Sit down, George,” she said softly as she reached over and took one of
his hands.”I may not be able to describe it to you, and you may not be
able to understand, but let me try to explain it this way.” And
sympathetically, she took one of his little hands in hers and started
counting the fingers.

“One-two-three-four-five. These fingers are similar to what is known as
the five senses.” She touched each finger between her thumb and index
finger as she continued her explanation.

“This little finger for hearing; this little finger for touch; this little
finger for smell; this one for taste,” and then she hesitated before
continuing: “This little finger for sight. And each of these five senses,
like each of the five fingers, sends messages to your brain.”

Then she closed the little finger which she had named “sight” and tied it
so it would stay next to the palm of George’s hand.

“George, you are different from other boys,” she explained, “because you
have the use of only four senses, like four fingers: one, hearing - two,  
touch - three, smell - four, taste.  But you don’t have the use of sense
for sight. Now I want to something. Stand up,” she said gently.

George stood up. His mother picked up the ball. “Now hold out your hand
as if you were going to catch this,” she said.

George held out his hands, and in a moment he felt the hard ball hit his
fingers. He closed them tightly around it and caught it.

“Fine, Fine,” said his mother. “I never want you to forget what you have
just done. You can catch a ball with four fingers instead of five, George.
You can also catch and hold a full and happy life with four senses instead
of five - if you get in there and keep trying.” Now George’s mother had
used a metaphor, and such a simple figure of speech is one of the quickest
and most effective ways of communicating ideas between persons.

George never forgot the symbol of “four fingers instead of five.” It meant
to him the symbol of hope, and whenever he became discouraged because
of his handicap, he used the symbol as a self-motivator. For he would
repeat four  fingers instead of five’ frequently. At times of need, it would
flash from his subconscious to his conscious mind.

And he found that his mother was right. He was able to catch a full life,
and hold it with the use of the four senses which he did have.

But George’s story does not end here.........

In the middle of his junior year at the high school the boy became ill, and
it was necessary for him to go to the hospital. While George was
convalescing, his father brought him information from which he learned
that science had developed a cure for congenital cataracts. Of course,
there was a chance of failure but - the chances for success far
outweighed those for failure.

George wanted so much to see that he was willing to risk failure in order
to see.

During the next six months four delicate surgical operations were
performed - two on each eye. For days, George lay in the darkened room
with bandages over his eyes.

And finally the day came for banadages to be removed. Slowly, carefully,
the doctor unwound the gauze from around George’s head and over his
eyes. There was only a blur of light.

George Campbell was still  technically blind !

For one awful moment he lay thinking. And then he heard the doctor
moving beside his bed, Something was being placed over his eyes.

“Now, can you see?” came the doctor’s question.

George raised his head slightly from the pillow. The blur of light became
color, the color a form, a figure.

“George!” a voice said. He recognized the voice. It was his mother’s voice.

For the first time in his 18 years of life George Campbell was seeing his
mother. There were the tired eyes, the wrinkled 62-year old face, and
the knotted and gnarled hands. But to George she was most beautiful.

To him - she was an angel. The years of toil and patience, the years of
teaching and planning, the years of being his seeing eyes, the love and
affection: that was what George saw.

To this day he treasures his first visual picture: the sight of his mother.
And as you will see, he learned an appreciation for his sense of sight from
his first experience.

“None of us can understand,” he says, “the miracle of sight unless we
have to do without it.”

He will never forget the day he saw his mother standing before him in the
hospital room, and did not know who she was - or even what she was -
until he heard her speak. “What we see,” George points out, “is always an
interpretation of the mind. We have to train the mind to interpret what
we see.”

This observation is backed up by science. “Most of the process of seeing is
not done by the eyes at all,” says Dr. Samuel Renshaw, in describing the
mental process of seeing. “The eyes act as hands which reach ‘out there’
and grab meaningless ‘things’ and bring them to the brain. The brain then
turns the ‘things’ over to the memory. It is not until the brain interprets
in terms of comparative action that we really see anything.”

Some of us go through life “seeing” very little of the power and glory
around us. We do not filter the information that our eyes give us through
the mental processes of the brain. As a result we often behold things
without really seeing them at all. We receive physical impressions without
grasping their meaning to us.

Is it time to have your mental vision checked? Not your physical vision -
that is a matter for medical specialists. But mental vision, like physical
vision, can become distorted. When it does you can grope in a haze of
false concepts.....bumping and huting yourself and others unneccessarily.

The most common physical weaknesses of the eye are two opposite
extremes - nearsightedness and farsightedness. These are the major
distortions of mental vision, too.

The person who is mentally nearsighted is apt to overlook projects and
possibilities that are distant. He pays attention only to problems at hand
and is blind to the opportunities that could be his by thinking and planning
in terms of the future. You are nearsighted if you don not make plans,
form objectives and lay the foundation of the future.

One the other hand, the mentally farsighted person is apt to overlook
possibilities that are right before him. He does not see the opportunity at
hand. He sees only a dream-world of the future, unrelated to the
present. He wants to start at the top rather than move up step by step
- and he does not recognize that the only job where you can start at the
top is the job of digging a hole.

-  Napolean Hill and W. Clement Stone