Live the Dream:

Reflections from Ben Prows

You haven’t really “lived the dream” unless you have been to a National Federation of the Blind National Convention. This is the time and place where blind people completely run the show. No one questions the abilities of people because of blindness. The first convention I attended forever changed my outlook. I was almost overwhelmed by the experiences of observing blind people from all walks of life, performing tasks that I had thought were impossible. I was so impressed and excited to see blind persons mentoring each other, long timers answering questions of the new attendees, helping them feel comfortable and teaching by example.

Early on I discovered the common bond for the members of the National Federation of the Blind is the love each participant has for each of the others and the organization as a whole. Every year I learn once again what a valuable resource this organization is with the amazing diversity of jobs, education, talent and all the things that humans do. Just being there encourages blind persons to realize and achieve their potential. It certainly gives me new hope for things I want and need to do in my life and even to dare to dream of higher aspirations.

And, if that’s not enough, just take a look at the jam-packed agenda of meetings, seminars, classes, groups, divisions, and informal gatherings each day. The topics cover all aspects of activity in life. I have now attended so many conventions, it’s hard to count. But one thing is clear: the yearly convention recharges my batteries, rekindles my energy and enthusiasm for life, and constantly reinforces my confidence and faith in my abilities as a blind person. Why wouldn’t you attend and begin to really live the dream?