If you were to Google “inspiring words about hearing loss”, not much is going to come up. There are quotes but none of them are what one could call uplifting.
Hearing loss can impose significant challenges to the easy flow of life. It changes how we do things, from simple conversations to how we carry out our work. For many people who have hearing loss, a little inspiration now and then can keep us going, give us a bolt of strength to help us through the tough communication situations.
“Blindness separates us from things but deafness separates us from people.” This Helen Keller statement is one of the most repeated and insightful observations about deafness, but as a quote, it’s not exactly a lifter of spirits.
And one certainly doesn’t feel exhilarated by what Beethoven wrote on not being able to a hear a flute in the distance or a shepherd singing:v“Such incidents drove me almost to despair; a little more of that and I would have ended my life; it was only my art that held me back.”
The words that have stirred my heart have been delivered mostly by people with hearing loss whom I’ve met through the years.
“You just walked through my life.” The response of a young woman who was deeply moved, to tears, of hearing someone else so accurately and exquisitely describe her own experiences. This can be life-changing – l know it was for me. This feeling can happen when you connect, however briefly, with another person who; knowing that you are not alone is a powerful force.
“I can hear better than when I could hear!” A friend expressed this amazed reaction to getting hearing aids for the first time; a whole new world of sound and communication had just opened up. The miracle of technology, no matter how basic – from hearing sounds or seeing captioning – never fails to disappoint.
Often, it’s not the words you read, but the people you meet that provide the most support on your hearing loss journey. One of my dearest hearing loss friends is Myrtle Barrett, who has also been my muse (a source of inspiration for a person’s creative work) for years. She often says a version of the following, and although it’s not a hilarious thigh-slapper, it gets my funny bone because this is our life!
You’ll answer questions that have never been asked.
You’ll accept invitations that have never been offered.
You’ll hear sounds that have never been made.
And you’ll miss the ones that have.
Here’s a quote of mine, the No-Bluff Pledge – a commitment to better communication that I made a long time ago. I’m far from perfect in not sliding into bluffing-ness, but I’m getting better at it, because I don’t want to miss stuff. Maybe this will urge you to a similar commitment (or not).
In my life, I will not bluff.
I will not pretend to understand,
When I do not.
Instead, I will do, all that it takes,
To engage, interact, and communicate.
“You’re a person with a hearing loss, not a hard of hearing person.” This paraphrases the philosophy of Rocky Stone, the founder of the organization that is now Hearing Loss Association of America. He wasn’t referring so much to what labels we use to describe our hearing, but that we are a person first and cannot be totally defined by our hearing challenges.
Now – I’m turning this over to you. On this site, or Facebook and other social media, why not share the quotes or sayings that have helped you succeed in your life with hearing loss?
You never know who may read it and be helped by what you say.