One of my favorite things about this column and the other inspirational-focused media and events we produce and host through cityCURRENT is the feedback we receive. Many are simple notes of appreciation while others are life lessons or stories of transformation, which become opportunities for us to further share and explore together. I’ll highlight Steve Baskis, the inspirational blind veteran and adventurer, in a future column; but I wanted to share this special note and important life lesson we received from Jay Davis:
“…I have tremendous admiration for the speaker, Steve Baskis, and the things he has taken on in his life. It just so happens that I was born to two blind parents (they met at the TN School for the Blind in Nashville). I was blessed with perfect vision, which allowed me to witness some incredible things. I have so many stories and memories of my dad playing the piano; riding a bike behind mine, which had a playing card clacking against the spokes; him riding a Harley down the road with my uncle being his eyes (while holding on for dear life on the back!); and triumphantly attending UT and becoming an attorney.
My dad, who lost his sight at the age of 7, taught me something most of us don’t think much about while he was under a car replacing struts. My job was to sit adjacent to the car and hand him the tools as he asked for them. As the work was progressing, the sun also started to set. Meanwhile, my dad extended his arm out from beneath the car with his palm up and he asks for a 9/16” socket. I quickly start looking through the rows of sockets and hold each one up to the remaining light in the sky and try to discern the numbers etched onto each of the sockets. Growing impatient, my dad says, ‘Come on, son. Hand me the 9/16” socket.’ I tell him, ‘Wait a second! There’s hardly any light and I can’t see!’
He responds by saying, ‘Oh, yeah. I forgot about your handicap,’ followed by a light chuckle.
It has been a lesson to me to never look past an individual that may have challenges that differ from my own. Every person has a gift to offer. I am inspired by Steve’s triumphs….I hope his story helps others see things differently, just as I did many years ago.”