An Anthropologist on Mars

I have once shared a story of a visit to a visually impaired classmate in BSS Gindiri, Mr Pam Deme from Sot-Gyel, in Jos South. He has in abundance an attractive and infectious smiles that can melt the hardened heart from hell. Pam is seated first from the right on the second row in the picture. Pam’s world was a black wall besieged only with sounds and smells.

One day Pam asked me to describe how colour red looks like and some days later he asked me to describe how human beings look like. I was fixed in thoughts. After some time with Pam, one faithful day I had a good look at the eyes of innocent Pam and silently prayed that God should make him to see again. Though my prayer was not answered but I was relieved I prayed for him. Pam’s story painted in me a picture of the pains and agony blind people go through every day. They have eyes but they can’t see.

Years later during the early days of my humble career as a teacher in the university, my path crossed another blind man in one of the best thought provoking books written by Oliver Sacks titled “An Anthropologist on Mars”. The book has a tale of a man by name Virgil who was born blind but had a surgery at the age of 50 and his sight was restored. He was able to see objects, make out colours and movements but can’t arrange them into a coherent picture in his mind. A learning process for him to identify objects began and it was successful, but his habits, his behaviors and mannerism were still those of a blind man.

Simply put it, The light of day signaled, but no light of mind for him to see. It simply means that having the physical capacity for sight is not the same as seeing.

It is a proven truth that vision involves far more than a working physical organ called the eye. The inner light in us gives us a formative visual imagination and without it, we are blind. Therefore it is a combination of our “inner light” and the “light of day or nature” that defines our world.

There are millions out there with eyes, but blind to the opportunities life keep presenting. Daily they watch the millions of opportunities passing by but they have no “inner light” to comprehend and take advantage of the opportunities to create their dreamed world. If you don’t have the inner light in you to give you a visual imagination of what you want to  achieve in life, then you are blind and at the mercy of what life can offer you. If you don’t have any plan or vision for yourself, there are many out there with plans on how to use you to achieve their goals.

Life and all the benefits that comes with it is always in motion with many forces driving it. Everybody that wants the good things of life must be ready to be a player and not a spectator on the stands.

There is no spectator in the game of life  You either use yourself or somebody or something must use you, you either drive yourself or somebody or something must drive you.

Our vision of Plateau of our Heritage that is Secured, United and Prosperous is possible. Generation Next has both light of day and light of the mind to walk through the darkest paths to victory.

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