There are times when I am brought up short. Yesterday evening was one of them.
I think it was in 1927 that Helen Keller attended a Lions Clubs convention and it was at that convention that she called upon Lions across the world to be 'Knights of the Blind'. And Lions Clubs across the world have, since then, frequently had service to blind members of the community in their programmes. It is now almost two weeks since I was given a tour of a school just outside Munich, a school for blind and partially sighted children. I and the rest of my party were humbled by the dedication of the teaching staff - and amazed at the results of their patience. We all fumbled our way across messages written in braille; we learned just how difficult it is to recognise the model of a well-known object just by touch. We were awestruck.
Then yesterday I was one of the duty drivers for a club for blind and partially-sighted people. After a short woodland walk - I'm uncertain how much that was appreciated - we had a pub meal. I had a partially-sighted woman on my right, but the woman on my left is completely blind. I have met her before and I think she told me that she has not been blind from birth. I watched - surreptitiously, in case she realised - as she ate her cod and chips with mushy peas. She carefully prodded food with her fork before cutting it. But how did she know where on the plate her food was for her to prod it? Could she tell the difference between the fish and the chips before she tasted which it was?
Life for her and blind people is a never-ending struggle just to do things to do which I and many of us take our ability for granted.
And I should add that Julie's husband Michael lost his job as a school caretaker because of his failing eyesight.
Need I say more?