Back in 1904 the English writer H.G. Wells wrote his famous piece titled, “The Country of the Blind.” The plot unfolds as a mountaineer named Nunez happened on to a community that had been cut off from the rest of the world. While prosperous in many ways, this community had been struck by a disease that made everybody there blind – including newborn babies. Nunez finds this unusual village with windowless houses and no candles for illumination. Recognizing that he is the only one who can see, he begins thinking to himself — “In the Country of the Blind the One-Eyed Man is King.” He’s thrilled as he realizes he can teach and rule them. But the villagers have no concept of sight and don’t understand his attempts to teach them this strange fifth sense. Instead of welcoming his new knowledge and the opportunity for them to experience something beyond their “normal” existence, they resisted his willingness to help expand their world.
After falling in love with a young girl in this village, he is turned down as a suitable suitor by the elders – because of his “unstable obsession with sight.” A local scientist offers a solution to the seeing man’s problem. He must undergo an operation to remove his eyes and free him from all the damaging and confusing input he is getting.
What would you do? Would you submit to the operation so you could be “normal?” Would you risk the scorn of family and friends who were telling you to be “realistic” and “practical?” Have you ever given up on a dream? Was it because it was unrealistic or did you take the “advice” of people who were living In The Country of the Blind? Where are those dreams today? Are they dead – or perhaps just dormant? Are you willing to see what others cannot?
“Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.” — Albert Einstein