“Our Dad* has lived 24,998 days. Days filled with hope, fear, accomplishment, sadness, joy. But his days have been very different from yours and mine, because he’s color blind. He’s never seen red, pink, orange, green; the list goes on. But this Father’s Day, thanks to EnChroma, we were able to give him a gift beyond description… the gift of color.” These are the opening lines to a video, posted by a college friend (and linked to at the end of this post), that show’s his father’s reaction to wearing Color Blindness Glasses for the first time. (*not my Dad).
The message that I took away from this video was not that their Dad was broken and now he is fixed. That’s not the case. He was, and is, a complete person with a full life. His children simply wanted to be able to give him a new experience, as well as the ability to see things in a different way when he so wished.
Several videos about this amazing new technology have crossed my path recently, but I hadn’t watched any until now. I was more interested in seeing this particular one since it was about the father of a friend, and I’m so glad I took the time. There are many heartwarming moments in the video, including his reaction to the beauty of his flower garden. He seemed to be overcome with emotion.
I found it incredibly moving when he cradled his daughter’s chin in his hand and gazed at the color of her eyes, saying, “I’ve never seen them before.” It was a stirringly tender exchange, and a precious moment for them to share.
In some ways he became like a child again, including his enthusiasm and joy at all his new observances. “I’ve never even noticed that!” he exclaimed, and “I can’t believe that bird feeder is red!” He wandered all over his home finding new sights to explore.
He also had to re-learn his colors: “I don’t know these colors!” “Is that… orange? And…pink? Good lord!”
One reason I found this video so compelling was that my friend’s father had the opportunity to see the world in a new way and experience new depths of beauty; beauty that had been around him all long, just waiting. He was enlivened and deeply moved by something that many of us take for granted: color. As a result his perception of his surroundings and the things he encountered every day changed.
The world is full of a dynamic, stunning array of artistry and uniqueness for us to appreciate. Many of us, however, have gotten so used to those “colors” that we no longer delight in them. We have stopped looking. (It’s a metaphor.)
My wish today is that we all have our eyes opened to see the world in a different way. May we embrace any new experiences that life may have in store. May we also look at the colors of life with a fresh gaze, and once again rejoice in their vibrancy and variety.
Enjoy the colors, “*Dad”. Thank you for helping me see them again, through your eyes.
(*Not my dad.)
I embedded the video, found on YouTube, below. Make sure you watch it through all the way to the end, too. I promise you will smile.
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