Green… or red?

My dear son Alex (17) is color blind.  My dad is also color blind.  I grew up with my dad always confusing reds and browns, something I – someone who can see all the colors in the rainbow, could logically understand.  But my logic could not wrap around the disparities in what my son sees.

We were at a parking lot some days ago when Alex noticed a beautiful car in the lot.  “Look at that green car,” he exclaimed.  I looked.  And looked again.  Green?  There was nothing green in the vicinity.  The car he was pointing at was red.  How can anyone confuse red and green?  No matter how much I tried to make sense of it, I just couldn’t!

Today I finally decided to read about it and learned that my son is not exaggerating his disability (yes, the thought actually crossed my mind).  Having trouble telling the difference between red and green is common for those with “color vision deficiency.”

It turns out I am the blind one: blinded by what I thought I knew; blinded by my own views and perceptions.  Instead of taking the time to see through his eyes, to learn and understand him, I remained in my ignorance.  Though we’ve known for years that he’s color blind, it took this long to make me take a second look, to question my own way of seeing red and green.

And so I am reminded to never underestimate the way others see life, no matter how foolish, irrational, random or different it might seem to me.

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