Personal Column: What the blind girl helped me see

Junior+Davion+Smith+sings+a+special+piece+in+the+play+with+his+friend+Emily+who+is+blind.+%28Taryn+Marceleno%29

Junior Davion Smith sings a special piece in the play with his friend Emily who is blind. (Taryn Marceleno)

Junior Davion Smith assist Emily Campos through the choir room.  Emily has been blind since birth and Davion has been friends with her for many years. (Karla Estrada Photo)
Junior Davion Smith assist Emily Campos through the choir room. Emily has been blind since birth and Davion has been friends with her for many years. (Karla Estrada Photo)

“The elevator!” Emily Campos exclaimed into my ear drum.

 I led her through the swarming teenage kids that buzzed like a beehive. Emily jabbed them in their ankles, causing an occasional disturbance as they stumbled forward.  The action rarely went unnoticed as they furiously turned around to see her and raised their growling voices. But once their eyes met her’s, a stiffening silence would strangle the angered words in the back of their throats. Some would ramble out an apology then speed up to clear the way for her.

We reached the elevator that was usually forbidden to students. She fumbled her hand along the wall to find the scanner then scanned her badge swiftly. She searched again, this time taking five seconds to find the up button for the elevator. I slowly took her inside then pressed door close. Immediately, she dropped her belongings and started to warm up her vocal cords as I stared in awe. She is dedicated. She is also blind.

I’ve always admired those who were dedicated, those that would press forward, displaying a cheerful smile and the determination to triumph over their personal obstacles. My friend Emily fits this description to a tee. It is safe to say that she has been a role model for me. Emily is in a way a heroine of sorts, saving me from whatever I fear to do or say. I’ve always told myself that I was capable of whatever she was, never allowing myself to utter an excuse because she never did. She has always been what a strong individual should be and by just being her, she has always lit up a path for me to strive for.

I was honestly surprised when she asked me to sing a song with her for our “Winter Show.” I have always been entertained by her voice since the very first time I heard it eighth grade year. Her voice was light smooth and delicate. She sang notes with such control it made me jealous but nonetheless I was enchanted. We became friends over the fondliness of each other’s instruments. Being her friend has opened my eyes to things I never bothered to notice. The first being, hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard. She was certaintly talented, but she still strove to be better.

“Why should I have to work, when I have the part down?” I asked her about my part in the play.

“It could always be better,” she replied.

 That philosophy has always been motivating to me when I’m at the brink of settling for mediocre. Emily has managed to learn to play the guitar and the piano. What right do I have to complain or give up when I can see the keys on my keyboard. I should be thankful.

Emily has always been thankful for what is in her life. I’ve rarely heard her complain about meaningless problems that teenagers often ramble about. Rather than dwell on what she is missing in life, she focuses on the positives. Her optimism has been one of the most worthy lessons she’s taught me.

By far, the most influential thing I’ve learned from Emily is equality. Her views of the world are very different. Emily’s incapability to see others’ appearances causes her to truly rely on the personalities of individuals. I feel if that we were all blind in that sense, the world could be a much a better place. If we were focused on the character, not the skin color or attractiveness, life would be so much better.

Emily has inspired me to be metaphorically blind. Being metaphorically blind has allowed a new beauty to come into your life: inner beauty rather than the superficial one. The simple beauty of understanding someone on a deep level. I thank Emily for giving me the gift of learning to look deeper into people, for the yearning for someone to also look deeper into me. The simplicity of knowing there’s more to people what’s just on the outside.

It is amazing to me how this girl who cannot see has such insight for the world, how someone who I am supposed to be helping has transformed my life in unimaginable ways.