I can see.
Those are three simple words, but they mean the world.
I went for eye surgery after my eyesight had deteriorated slowly but severely over the past two years until I was left with only 30% of a normal person’s vision.
When the patch over my new eye was removed this week, I was totally overwhelmed. The lovely Snapdragon took me for tea afterwards and when our waitron placed six colourful macaroons in front of me, the tears flowed.
The little cookies were just so bright, and I could even see the tiny silver sprinkles on them.
I can now read road signs, newspapers … I live in a beautiful world made up of vivid colours and fine detail and my brain refuses to simply adapt. I treasure every second, I enjoy every detail as if I’m suddenly living in a new world.
I still have to wear spectacles to read, but at least I can find them now. You won’t believe how many times in the past years I have sat on my eyeglasses after looking for them everywhere.
The flipside of the coin, however, is also true.
When my eyes were bad, I was surrounded by spectacularly beautiful women. Now … not so much. Roads which I have believed to be in great condition now look terrible.
The entire ordeal has taught me an important lesson. Sometimes you grow so used to things being broken, that you begin to believe it’s sufficient. And only after a dramatic intervention it becomes clear just how dysfunctional the world around you has become.
And I’m not only talking about our pothole-ridden roads, which have always looked good through my Mister Magoo eyes.
Many things in our wonderful country are broken. Education. Crime prevention and the justice system. Public transport. Corruption. The economy …
There are millions of wonderful citizens who can repair South Africa, just like our ill health system harboured a specialist who managed to give me back my eyesight.
Later this year, we are going to the ballot box for a political eye test.
Will we be brave enough to fix that which is wrong, or are we going to be content with a life of sitting on our spectacles?