To Zoe: the best teacher I have ever had

My four-legged friend has taught me patience, respect and to believe in myself

Is it that time again? Time to read what a blind girl has to say about the world? Yes, it is.

Much like my other articles, I am going to shift the focus slightly away from my visual impairment and shed light on a topic we can all relate to.

I believe that in this life everything happens for a reason. I think that everyone and everything enters our lives to teach us a lesson and to make us think. These teachers come in all shapes and sizes. In this article I will be focusing on the best teacher I have ever had; in light of the new year that is well under way.

This teacher taught me to never judge a book by its cover. Something that appears to be boring or even pointless may contain more power and knowledge than you will ever know and, until you stop judging, you will never get a taste of what is to come.


If respect is not given, it will not be received

I, like the rest of us, have judged. When something, at first glance, looked dull and lifeless, my instinct was to walk away. My teacher taught me to never walk away until your job is done, and your job is never just to judge. People judge me when I walk with my cane or when I make a “blind person” mistake, but they don’t really know me, they don’t know what’s going on.

My teacher taught me respect. To never bite the hand that feeds you. The term feeding is used loosely here; it could mean literal feeding, or it could be referring to someone or something that gives you knowledge or experience. My teacher told me clearly, that if respect is not given, it will not be received.

My teacher told me to believe in myself, even in the scariest situations. In times when fear takes over and when your body is shaking, change that energy into determination and belief. Your reward may not be success, it may be failure, but the most important thing is that you did it. We all know the phrase from our childhood days, “If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again.”

My teacher taught me patience. “Practice makes perfect,” “Rome wasn’t built in a day” – these sayings are all true. Whatever it is you are working on that is not going to plan, have patience. I have learned from my teacher that the best things, be them big or small, will take time and energy.

It will be hard work and you might feel like giving up but when it happens, you’ll be so grateful you stuck with it. I have come close to stopping so many times, to throwing in the towel and quitting. But my teacher wouldn’t accept this. It is because of her that I have not stopped.

My teacher is my horse.

Like I said, teachers come in all shapes and sizes and mine came with four legs. Meeting Zoe and getting the chance to ride her has been one of the best things to ever happen to me. The horse does not care if I can’t see, she does not care if I am scared, tired or hungover. In her eyes (which do not work properly either!), I am meant to respect her always. On more than one occasion, I have wanted to stop.

I have shown Zoe no respect, I have lost complete faith and trust in her before and, as if she knew how I was feeling, she proved all my fears wrong.

We all learn life lessons and skills from different places

You do not have to be with horses to understand this.

We all learn life lessons and skills from different places. Everyone has wanted to quit, we have all judged a book by its cover and we have all lost belief in ourselves.

Sometimes, the best teachers we will ever have and the most important life lessons are staring us right in the face for months before we notice them. There is always more than what appears on the surface.

Everyone has their own Zoe; it just may take some longer to realise or find theirs.

To Zoe, thank you for never giving up on me. You have taught me so much already and our journey is only beginning.

Platform Series: Bobbie Hickey
1) Making a sandwich when you're blind
2) Not getting the points I wanted
3) Benefits to being visually impaired
4) I'm not blind. I'm Bobbie Hickey
5) College with no friends, and no eyes
6) People freeze when I approach them
7) Why I mind needing help
8) The best teacher I have ever had
9) 'This could happen to anyone'