How Successful do we have to be? …

Saw an article on GMTV this morning about Stevie Wonder, how he had given a concert yesterday and been given a lifetime achievement award by President Obama. I’m not a fan of SW myself but he has achieved a lot in music and rightly deserves the award.

Not once did the report allude to the fact that SW is blind, which is good, the article was about his music not his visual impairment. He is seen as a musician first and a blind person second. That’s how it should be.

But if the likes of me or my blind friends were portrayed in the media, the blindness would creep in there somewhere. We might even have to endure the nauseating mush about being brave, heroic, triumphing over adversity, etc etc.

So my point is, how successful do we have to be before our blindness ceases to be of importance? Probably way more successful than I’ll ever be.


About Mel Griffiths

I live and work in Nottingham, England and am blind. This blog is often centred around things that happen to me because of being blind. This is my space to write and sometimes people will disagree with what I write, but its the one place I have in which to be frank and honest. I also like to reflect on the funnier side of life from time to time.
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4 Responses to How Successful do we have to be? …

  1. fleurette67 says:

    Very good point!
    Hi Mel! You made a very good point in your latest LJ entry: it’s great that Stevie Wonder is appreciated as a musician with no-one needing to say that he’s blind, but that doesn’t apply to us ordinary people, does it? And it isn’t just the media who fling words like “brave” at us blind people. At a choir practice recently I was told I was “brave” for only following the words of the songs we’re learning and for being able to learn the music by ear. My reply was that this was how I’d always learned choir songs from the age of 7 or 8 when I first joined a school choir. ButI admit that I was sorely tempted to say something along the lines of: “sighted choir members lack the courage to memorise music and learn it by ear and rely too much on their sheet music”. But I guess that wouldn’t have been very constructive, and anyway I wasn’t “brave” enough to make such a comment at the time to one of those sighted choir members! The point is, we’re not “brave” because we are blind but nevertheless able to do things sighted people do: OK, we must adapt to situations if necessary, but most of the time we’re just doing normal activities, in a way that’s normal for us. Being a famous musician is “normal” for Stevie Wonder, and doing everyday activities (even with adaptations) is “normal” for us blind people who are not famous.

    • ezzie_j says:

      Re: Very good point!
      Oh Yuk I hate that guy. He has four kids and does fuck all except sit there. Lol. I actually don’t think he’s that good of a musician either!

      • Re: Very good point!
        agree with ezzy, don’t like him much, but i’ve been described as brave before. i don’t see myself as that, i’m just a person getting on with their disability.

      • fleurette67 says:

        Re: Very good point!
        Whether we like Stevie Wonder or not, he’s managed to carve out a successful career for himself in the music business in spite of being blind, while so many blind people can’t get ordinary jobs. But I won’t start ranting about that, otherwise I could be here all day!

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