Ben Underwood lost his vision when he was two years old. Both of his eyes were surgically removed due to cancer. Yet, cancer at two couldn’t kill his motivation and zeal for life. He skates around the block, plays table games, video game with his brother and he is very good at all of them. Nothing comes between him and the visual world, he sees them all. How does he manage to do all of it? Ben has mastered Echolocation techniques, as the dolphins. Dolphins use echolocation techniques to figure out the position of the objects as sounds bounce around from them. When Ben was young, he told his mother-“I can’t see”. His mother told him- well, you have your nose and ears you can use them to see things around you. The real talent of Ben lies in the attitude of “nothing you can do better than I can do”.
Commentary by Mohua Chatterjee -
I chose the story because Ben makes me think- Indeed “you are truly blind if you lose vision for your future”. I also didn’t think mastering Echolocation was humanly possible for someone and do so many things with such fervor. The story is also model for parents to raise kids who are blind. More often than not parents are overprotective of their children with disabilities. Behaviors like these make people with disabilities think less of them, which is not good for the person’s self-esteem. Ben’s mom did the right thing, she was not overprotective, yet she loved Ben for whom he is. She is a model of unconditional love of parents and motivational coach.