In a required weekly 'class' at Hiawatha Elementary School - the 8th Grade Seminar - we were presented with various situations and then asked how we would react to them in real life. (This was supposed to prepare us for high school, I suppose...)

One that I found particularly interesting was presented to us on the 2nd day of seminar. I was sitting next to a gothic-looking girl who appeared to be as much of a freak and an outcast as I was. (Yes, that proves important in a few moments...)

The guy leading the seminar that day asked us "If you had to become either blind or deaf, which would it be?"

I did not have to think long - I already knew my answer. So, when the seminar leader asked "Who would become deaf? Raise your hands." my hand stayed down. When the seminar leader asked the reverse, who would become blind, my hand and that of the goth girl beside me were the only two that raised.

Naturally, we were singled out for our explanations since we deviated from the mass.

My answer?
"Music. I could not bear to be left in complete silence for the rest of my life. I can learn to read braille, have computers that talk to me, and learn to navigate by feel or guide animal, but I fear I would truely lose my mind if I were in an enforced silence for the rest of my days. Furthermore, I am too entranced by voices to be able to live without hearing them."

And you? Which would you choose?


That goth girl later became my best friend - she and are still as close as ever, despite the fact that we are separated by 500+ miles.
I guess it totally depends on your meaning of existence. Ask me if I'd rather lose three fingers on my left hand or both legs, the answer is easy for me. I play the bass. Without 3 fingers - well, what would be the point? But without legs - who needs to walk?
Ask Carl Lewis that same question - I doubt you'll get the same answer.

I'm sure that all musicians and music lovers would rather go blind, but people whose lives are not all about music, like Bill Clinton, Steven Speilberg and Britney Spears would probably prefer to go deaf.

Blindness cuts you off from things. You will no longer read the newspaper or your favorite books. You will no longer watch TV or use your computer (in quite the same way).

Deafness cuts you off from people. Except for a few or until you master lip reading, you will be unable to communicate with those you meet on the street, or in a bar, or in school, or wherever. Your circle of friends and acquantances will shrink to a tolerant and educated few, if any.

If anything it's a sign of my introverted nature that I'd probably choose to be deaf, though I would still have my music. The bass of good techno through good speakers sounds in my chest as well as my ears - I could give up one. I've been slowly realizing however that ultimately, being blind would be a healthier choice. I sometimes feel like I need every human that I can form a healthy relationship with to survive.

The potential loss of these two senses pales to what one could lose. If I lost my sense of touch, I think I'd kill myself before I went mad. I think touch is the most important sense.

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