Entitlement to Eyesight

This past week I experienced terrible eye pain – it was irritated, watery, and very sensitive to light for days. I walked around with one eye closed, avoided the light, and tried to stay indoors as much as possible. One day, in particular, I stayed in my room all the day with the blinds shut and my eyes closed.

  I could neither read nor look at the person I was talking to in the eye for more than five seconds. I wasliterally living in darkness, limited to doing things that did not require my eyesight. This experience reminded me to never take my eyesight for granted and made me imagine what it would be like to be blind. This also made me wonder: Is eyesight or any other basic ability a gift? And are we as humans entitled to having these abilities?

I knew that I would receive the necessary medical attention to get better. Within a couple days of treatment, my eye healed and my life went back to normal. But what if I was in a situation where I could not be treated? Would my eye have gotten worse, and what are the chances that it could have led to blindness or some other serious ailment?  

This made me think of the thousands of cases per year that are preventable through medicine and affordable health care. Many of us have lived to such a high standard of living that losing eyesight or some other ability is unfathomable – making me think that we feel entitled to these abilities. After all, society probably wouldn’t function if everyone were blind. In order to see a reform in healthcare, people who are healthy must first understand the importance of health through gratitude. And they shouldn’t wait, like I did, until an actual issue befell them to be grateful.