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  • Writer's pictureAvani Venkatesh Kumar

Sight Vs Insight

You need your eyes to see, but do you need your eyes to dream?

If I am told to play catch with a ping pong ball and have my eyes shut throughout, I would likely drop the ball in two minutes. And, I would conveniently pass off my poor coordination as not being able to see.

When you compare my excuse to the feat achieved by Chinese mountaineer Zhang Hong, it loses all credibility.

The forty-six-year-old from the South-Western city of Chongqing is the first blind Asian to scale Mount Everest and third overall in the world. He scaled the tallest peak in the world from the Nepal side, reaching it on Monday, May 24th with three altitude guides. The four of them returned to the base camp on Thursday, May 27th.

In 2001, Erik Weihenmayer was the first blind man to climb Mount Everest setting a remarkable example for others to follow. Zhang Hong, who lost his vision at the age of 21 due to glaucoma was greatly inspired by Weihenmayer. He dreamt of reaching the top of Mount Everest someday and began training under Qing Hi, a mountain guide friend.

He shared his experience by saying, “I was very scared, because I couldn’t see where I was walking and couldn’t find my centre of gravity, causing me to fall sometimes. But I kept thinking that though it is hard, I have to face these difficulties because they are what climbing is all about.”

Zhang Hong’s words and actions reflect an indomitable spirit. Most of us assume that ‘disabilities’ limit the scope of life and variety of dreams. But, what we fail to see is that having two eyes, two ears, two hands, and two limbs is not necessary for turning our dreams into reality. Their absence would make things harder, not unachievable.

What counts in the end is how much faith you have in yourself. What makes a difference eventually, is whether we believe in our dream or not, if we are willing to give it our all or not.

As Zhang Hong and several others have proved, when we do achieve our dreams, our belief in ourselves was all that needed to matter anyways.

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