This I Believe

Bindt, Juliet
1953-11-11

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Juliet Bindt describes how she came to accept her extremely poor sight, learned how to live a busy and productive life as a blind individual, and determined to help other blind individuals do the same.

Subjects
BlindSocial conditions
Blind women
Altruism
Self-sacrifice
Education
Belief change
United States
California
Permanent URL
http://hdl.handle.net/10427/75858
ID: tufts:MS025.006.008.00006.00001
To Cite: DCA Citation Guide
Usage: Detailed Rights
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And now, This I Believe. Here is Edward R. Murrow.
This I Believe. Juliet Bindt is a graduate of Scripps College. She studied in the field of social welfare at the University of California, and is now a home teacher for the blind of the California State Department of Education. She is the author of A Handbook for the Blind, which gives specific hints for happier living despite loss of sight. Here now is Mrs. Bindt.
I was born with weak eyes and have not read since my freshman year in high school. But with the aid of readers, I graduated from college and started out in the world eager to work. But I wasn’t able to find a job.
I had not thought of myself as being blind. To me, the blind were helpless, hopeless creatures. However, one day in a philanthropic mood, I visited a club for the blind and was surprised to find many members who could see more than I could. I was actually shocked to hear someone say, “A blind girl, like you.”
When I finally accepted this as a reality, I began learning how to become a capable blind individual instead of struggling against being an inferior sighted person. I have learned to ask myself, How can I do it a new way? Concentrating upon what I can do, instead of upon what I can’t do. I can’t see coins, but I
have learned to recognize them easily by feeling the milled edges on the silver ones. I can’t see to drive a car, but I have learned how to have a busy life and to travel alone throughout Northern California, as a state teacher for the blind.
As I speak and act, I keep trying to see how I am affecting others. Do they cringe before apparent intolerance or expand in the warmth of understanding? Am I really helping them to help themselves and to use all their abilities? Or am I, in my eagerness to help, forcing others to do what I have decided is right for them. There is a hazard that too much kindness and service may actually stifle initiative and growth.
I have learned to keep fighting for my right to think and speak and act for myself. And I've also learned that I must be careful, lest I deny these same rights to others. Because of these beliefs, I keep trying to see more; to see my real self and potentialities; to see myself as others see me; and to see my function in the universe.
I try to form clear mental pictures by using non-visual senses. So doing, brings greater realism and beauty. I see myself as an integral part of the universe, put here by a good and all powerful creator to do His will and enrich the world.
I see human beings as resembling storage batteries—storing up energy, releasing it, and then recharging our physical and spiritual strength. I am happiest during the stage of releasing this energy, because I believe that we were put here to give something of ourselves, not to get something.
And finally, I believe that seeking to see myself and my relation to the universe is a continuing process. I must constantly keep trying to see more.
Those were the beliefs of Juliet Bindt, who is devoting her life to the education and welfare of other blind persons to help them also become useful citizens.