Thursday, September 10, 2009

Braille on the Steering Wheel


Joel, Brady, and I were recently traveling to Michigan for a friend’s wedding. I was driving the Durango when something suddenly occurred to me. In the 4+ years we have owned the Durango, and in the 10+ years I have been driving, I always felt those little bumps on the cruise control buttons and assumed they were….wait for it…..Braille.
I just logically thought they were Braille dots, like on a bathroom door, to help the visually impaired navigate life a little easier. I don’t know why this particular day I connected the dots (pause a moment for that pun), but as I sat there driving with my thumbs smoothing over those bumps on the cruise control, I slowly began to realize the idiocy of having Braille on a steering wheel. Where did I think that blind person was going to drive? I laughed out loud at my realization.
There are times in life when I realize something I’ve believed or felt for so long is totally and completely idiotic. The world tells me I’m ugly, the magazines say I’m fat, the judges tell me I’m untalented, so I believe all those things. I accept those ideas as truth without really contemplating the lunacy of those ideas. Like the Braille on my steering wheel, I simply accept those “truths” for what they are, without ever questioning their existence, their meaning, or their validity.
Who are you, or rather who am I, to judge God’s creation as anything less than perfect? By whose standards am I ugly, fat, untalented? I don’t think I really want to try living up to those standards anymore, because they are just too hard to please. Trying to please the world takes far too much time and energy that could be put to use elsewhere, and all for what? A stamp of approval from Clinton Kelly that my wardrobe flatters my waistline? No thanks. It’s hard most of the time, to not get caught up in the world’s expectations of who I should be or what I should look like. I want to feel beautiful and talented. But on the days that I wake up and realize I was beautifully made exactly as I am, it’s like realizing those bumps are not Braille on my steering wheel, and I cannot help but laugh.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ford Motor Company has announced that it will be adding a new feature to all of its vehicles with steering wheel control buttons starting in 2010. These control buttons, including volume, seek, cruise control, fan and temperature, will each feature Braille lettering to give visually impaired drivers more say over interior climate, cruise speed and noise level. The raised dot alphabet, which was developed in France in 1821, will help drivers match buttons with functions more quickly and easily. In addition, the dashboard cover will be removed to allow the driver to feel the speedometer needle as the automobile moves. The speedometer numbers will be raised to assist the driver in roughly estimating his or her speed. "We are creating independence. The driver will no longer have to ask an accompanying passenger to turn the volume down, change the radio station or set cruise control," said Pete Ford of Ford Motor Company. "Or, more importantly, with the exposed speedometer needle and numbers, 'How fast am I going?'"

Dail Carson said...

I fell for it on Facebook, and realised the unlikelihood of it while driving two weeks later.

Stacie young said...

http://williampennmanship.blogspot.com/2009/09/ford-to-install-braille-on-steering.html?m=1

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