The Country of the Blind

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

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44 Responses to “The Country of the Blind”

  1. Dan Says:

    “Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.” — Albert Einstein

    There in lies one of our greatest truths. If we are to succeed, we must pursue our greatest dreams, no matter that the costs, as long as we don’t seel our souls, family or values, to achieve them.

    Mediocre minds will always stand in our way, don’t heed them, but listen to them. Perhaps there will be some wisdom hidden in their protests, but likely not. We were all put on this earth to achieve something and there will always be someone or something out there placing obstacles on our paths.

    This man with sight in a sightless country reminds me troubled times in my own life. Being able to see that which others didn’t allowed me to persevere where others merely floundered and wrung their hands wondering if we would ever succeed in our quest for something new and wonderful. had I listened to them, we would not have made the break through we did. In the end, some still failed to see the importance of the accomplishments we made, saying that the results were impracticable and of no value. There were wrong and new products were born.

    Don’t lose track of your dreams, overcome the obstacles that others put in your pathway and surprise all around you.

    By the way, I lost many hours of sleep over this project and many like it. Worth every sleepless moment I had.

    Dan G.

  2. Drew Kime Says:

    The flip side is that utter loons *also* encounter violent opposition, because what they say deserves to be opposed. No, you shouldn’t give up *just* because you encounter opposition. But don’t make the mistake of thinking that opposition proves your greatness.

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