Siew Lee’s brother Alan introduced to us DIALOGUE IN THE DARK recently held in KLCC.
DIALOGUE IN THE DARK is basically a WORKSHOP, similar to the FAMINE CAMPAIGN… which allows the Public to experience what a BLIND person experience on a daily basis. You enter a DARK ROOM, COMPLETE DARKNESS! and pretend you were blind for that entire Hour.
The guide would introduce herself to us and guide us through the Dark Room (Giving instructions such as “TOUCH THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE WALL!”, “CAN YOU FEEL THE BENCH NEXT TO YOU?”, “PLEASE FOLLOW MY VOICE” etc etc… So there are a couple of THEME that we go through; such as TRAFFIC! and how we- as blind people- need to walk across the road; learning how to utilize those beeping noise coming out from the traffic light; Or how to use an ATM Machine without being able to see the numbers or options on the screen; and even buying the daily necessities in a Busy MARKET where we get to touch, feel and smell different veges and fruits and spices.
At the end of our tour in the dark, we get to have coffee. We pay real money, to drink real coffee, and have a real conversation with our Guide.
Siew Lee’s Mother repeatedly asked our Guide at the beginning of the Tour.. “Wah How do you manage to see/guide us in the dark?! Very impressive!”
This is when the guide finally responded; revealing to us that she is actually a Blind person. Hence, not having any trouble moving about in the dark. It was a shock to us, and this led to a Q&A question.
The Q&A question essentially is to expose us to the reality of blind person’s life and how from this experience, we will be able treat them with respect and equality; but aside from the awareness aspect.. this was supposed to help us to appreciate our sight as well as other little things we could have taken granted for.
Being Malaysian, the questions asked were probably more ‘General’ and ‘safe’.
Ie: When did you get blind? How do you travel? What do you do these days? How did you get involved in Dialogue in the dark?
To communicate a message.. specifically the message of APPRECIATING WHAT YOU HAVE, I felt the blind person could have spoke more about her struggles and hitting rock bottom when she first found out that she could not see.
I would have asked questions such as “what was your first reaction when you realize that you would not see again”; “how did you communicate to your boss and your colleagues that you were not able to come work”, “how do you find purpose and joy in this life”..
after that session, when we walked out from the Dark room and saw our guide, Siew Lee’s Mother shut off my entire sadistic train of thoughts by saying to our Guide ” Praise the Lord for you are such a Joyful person!”, “Do you know Jesus? (which she replied yes)”, “Your are a beautiful person”.
For me, a broken person’s testimony is powerful. But a word spoken to another person’s life through the lens of God and unconditional love, as simple as it is.. can be even more powerful.