Bumbling Idiots

The other night, John and I watched an old, favorite movie, Office Space.  While watching it, I was horrified to realize that the bumbling idiot character of Milton is low vision – typified by his coke bottle glasses.

I started thinking about the difference between the way blind characters are portrayed in the media (super-human powers, psychic, jokesters) and the way characters with low vision are portrayed.  Is the case of Milton, in whom low vision equals incompetence, typical?  I immediately thought of Mr. Magoo, whose incompetent driving skills led to accidents all around him while he remained unscratched.  Bumbling but lovable.  Scooby Doo’s Velma is always losing her glasses, becoming a buffoon each time they are dropped.

These foolish, bumbling portrayals fuel my fears about how I will be perceived.  Each time I make a mistake at work, I worry that I am being seen as Milton – incompetent and just waiting to be pushed out.  When I stumble or trip, I fear that I am being as ridiculous as Velma – a figure to be assisted and pitied.  I am the same, competent person that I was before my vision began to deteriorate.  Do I really believe this?  Sometimes I allow myself to question my abilities, my intelligence, my competence.  I must continue to believe in myself and fight against the fears of becoming dependent, bumbling, and incompetent.  I am much more than my low vision disability.  That disability is only one small part of who I am.  I must focus on the big picture, the totality of my abilities.  I want to live my life in fullness as the beloved child of God that I am.  In that way, I will be able to participate with grace and work to make the world the beautiful, glorious place that it can be.


10 thoughts on “Bumbling Idiots

  1. Belinda,
    Your discussion starts with stereotypes (how we define others) then strikes at the heart of personal identity (how we define ourselves.) Whether it’s vision, or weight, or career, or car… we struggle to evaluate our worth by external measures.

    You are asking the deepest of questions, “Who am I?” and “Am I good enough?” With courage, you are drawing out the Truth of it; our value has always been, and always will be, inherent within us. A worth beyond worldly measure.

    I honor your exploration, and the way your sharing makes it our exploration too. I notice my viseral reactions to your posts; how attached I am to my own health and wellbeing. My identity. Or… maybe not?

    Love, Sheri

  2. Thank you for pointing out the stereotypes that people with low vision face everyday. Kids with low vision are especially prone to mean and ignorant statements about their apparent “incompetence” when in reality it’s a physical limitation.

    Keep on educating the masses.

    Edie Glaser
    Helping children with low vision play and learn with competence and confidence.

  3. Thank you very much for helping me put all of this into perspective. Keep writing, I’m sure you are helping many people with your insight.

  4. Thank You Brave, Amazing Lady,
    You spoke beautifully from the heart that reflects your Savior…. He is shinning through you….
    And, we all need to be more AWARE of those less fortunate than us and HELP not scorn or ignore.
    I Appreciate your words of wisdom.

    • Thanks, Jo. While writing my post, I decided that I need to look at which disabilities I make stereotypes about and get rid of any of my own attitudes that hold others back. You are right that awareness is the first step to making the world a better place.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s