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Either We Change Focus or Redefine the Problem

This Christmas, I experienced the joy of the season through the eyes of my two-year-old grandson. For months, his sole desire was for Santa Claus to bring him a bicycle. His heart, mind, and actions were completely aligned as he waited for Christmas Day. On Christmas morning when he awoke to the delight of seeing a bike under our tree, though still excited, he found himself defeated by the barriers that stood in the way of progress. It wasn’t until he was equipped with his helmet, a boost up onto the seat, and a trusted guide to walk beside him that he realized his ultimate goal. He was riding his bike!

As I began writing this first message of 2022, I revisited my blog from last year. Our topic – taking inventory of the tools we already have as a sector and working together to tackle barriers that stand in the way of good vision for all – seemed perfectly aligned for 2021. And in retrospect, together with so many of you, we amplified the role that clear vision plays in our world: from the classroom to the board room and all roads in between. We achieved a commendable level of global priority for eye care despite all the health and societal barriers that threatened to unseat our decades of progress.

Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, has been quoted as saying, “You can focus on things that are barriers or you can focus on scaling the wall or redefining the problem.”

For my grandson who had never ridden a bike, the barriers to success seemed monumental. But his desire to “scale the wall” was greater, and he changed his focus and redefined the problem. He put on the right equipment and partnered with those he trusted who were going the same direction. Success was his!

What would it mean to our sector if we shifted our focus from the barriers that stand in our way and instead toward the ultimate goal - a world that can see clearly? What equipment would we need to be successful, and with whom would we align beginning today?

This year, the Vision Impact Institute will continue to equip and empower advocacy and awareness efforts as we align with those who are also scaling the wall to end poor vision.

Won’t you join us?