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Being Color Blind Helped Me See

General

According to the world I have a disability: “color deficiency” – which is essentially the female form of color blindness. I can’t tell you the difference between blue and purple, or green from gray and yellow – perhaps explaining why my clothes seldom match. In fact, that’s how I learned I was different – I remember sitting on the monkey bars during recess in elementary school getting laughed at because I couldn’t see that my clothes didn’t match. And it’s been an issue up until about a year ago when my friend Loren came over and color coordinated and labeled my closest after I mistook a pair of mint green jeans for white ones.

And as a result of my “deficiency” I’ll never be able to join certain military ranks or the bomb squad.  Lucky for me I’ve never had dreams of becoming like MacGyver. But I do share similar dreams as Martin Luther King Jr. that more people in the world shared my color blindness.

When I was a little girl, at that age where kids say the darndest things,  I asked my father, whom was born to a Spanish speaking mother from Costa Rica, “What color are we?”

I was confused because we weren’t black, but we weren’t white either, especially not in the summer. “I guess we’re brown,” he said.

“Why are people different colors?” I then asked him.

And what he said made so much sense I began seeing people for their similarities, as in being other people, paying no mind to their external differences. “God gave people different skin tones to survive in the different climates He created, a fair skin person would have had a hard time in Africa before they came out with sunscreen. And that doesn’t make anyone better than anybody.”

So I see my “disability” as a blessing, because my color blindness has translated to people. It doesn’t bother me that I see the world in different shades than most people as I don’t see the shade of people’s skins either.

It does however make me a bad sports fan as I recently learned the Eagles jerseys are green rather than silver, and now I can’t tell Panthers and Hornets colors apart.