Thursday, November 01, 2007

You Meet the Nicest People

Back in 1999, when I was barely hanging on by my fingernails, a colleague asked me if there were any benefits to having a hearing loss. The question took me by surprise since my modus operandi was mere survival, just trying to make it through the day with some semblence of functioning. The only thing I could think of to say was, "I don't hear my husband snore."

Now, almost a decade later, my list of benefits has expanded exponentially. I am still deaf, but with my cochlear implant I am connected to people again! So now the hopelessness and despair is gone, and I can think of some benefits to hearing loss:

  • A wonderful circle of friends I would never have met with "normal" hearing. We are not alone in our struggles with hearing loss. I am so grateful to those dear ones who have been willing to share, to advise, to allow me to benefit from their experiences.
  • An opportunity to help others on their journey. What a privilege to share with those who are just beginning the journey of living with a hearing loss!

  • A greater empathy for those who struggle. Everyone has times of challenge in this life. Courage, resilience, patience and other similar character traits are rarely strengthened in times of ease, are they?

  • A new sense of purpose and a cause to champion.

I think the benefits list will keep increasing with time. What do you think?