Blind student talks about racism from her perspective

Nicole Lyssy

I have a good friend who creates YouTube videos, and in one of her videos, she said: “The gift of not being able to see is seeing what’s inside a person.”

This quote resonates strongly with me and is the basis on which I live my life. Being completely blind has allowed me to see the beauty that lies within the soul and nothing on the outside. I have never been able to tell what people look like, how they dress or how they wear their hair on any given day. Therefore, in a world where appearance matters and is often the first impression a person has of someone else, I don’t ever have the obstacle of basing a first impression on someone’s clothes, hairstyle or appearance. Countless magazines and web sites portray beauty as an external trait.

When I meet someone, I look for personality and confidence, for classiness and friendliness. These things, to me, make a good first impression. This isn’t to say that looks aren’t important; I do appreciate it when people make an effort to put themselves together. I strongly believe, however, that it is internal beauty that truly matters.

Historically, one of the things that have divided people for centuries is skin color. To me, this is completely absurd. I can’t understand why color should even matter, because it has never, ever mattered to me. Regardless of skin color, all people have the same value. I have been raised to treat everyone with kindness and respect and to be open to all individuals, no matter what they look like, and this is why I have such a hard time wrapping my mind around racism. Why should any person with a different skin color not be afforded the same opportunities as anyone else?

“All men are created equal.”

This idea from the Declaration of Independence is a founding principle of our country and is something that I deeply believe in. I can’t wait to see the day my fellow human beings embrace it once and for all, because nothing on the outside should ever be used to judge another. A person’s heart and soul are the only things that remain true.