How often do we stop to consider the fundamental things that connect every human being? What if we start with our five senses when looking for connection?
Take sight for example. If you stumbled upon the following ducks in a watery ditch near your home, which would make you stop and marvel? Which inspires curiosity?
Turns out, that is a pair of Mandarin Ducks; the male on the left in vibrant splashes of color and the female on the right being drab and inconspicuous, feathered in some of the same shades that people with color blindness might see.
What if you had never experienced the essential wonder of color in flowers, sunsets, or rainbows and instead, saw everything in shades of muddy brown or slate blue?
The photo on the left below is typical of certain types of color blindness. The photo on the right is normal vision.
In today’s Ever Widening Circles (EWC) article, we’re going to explore the zone where technology is radically expanding the quality of life for many, but even more importantly, we might have some “ah-ha” moments about our shared humanity!
First up, you’ve probably seen a few of the many circulating videos that capture the reactions of visually or hearing impaired people when they first use a technology that vastly improves their senses. (If not, you are in for a treat today!)
So let’s take a look at a few of these glimpses into very personal moments of wonder and then consider why the empathy we feel is so compelling.
First up, take a look at a wonderful “home video” taken when an average family presents their two sons with the new Enchroma Glasses, developed to cure color blindness.
Did you tear up a bit yourself? Maybe not, but I’m sure that little window into the overwhelming joy of another was heartwarming for most.
It would be easy to conclude that this is so inspiring because it reminds us of the vast possibilities that our future holds, as technologies expand “quality of life” for more and more people. But that completely ignores the sense of empathy that these videos stir in many of us.
Take a look at this next video of a child, seeing colors for the very first time and see if you don’t melt into a chocolaty mess. You can’t help but smile and in some way “share” his joy at discovering something many of have had all our lives.
(Listen carefully to his wonderful comments!)
Lovely fun there, huh?!
You may know our motto here at EWC is “It’s still an amazing world!” If that video doesn’t prove it, I don’t know what does!
In fact, the idea for this article was sent to us by a wonderful friend to EWC. Here’s what Vicky said in her email to us when she recommended the videos:
“I have had horrible eyesight my entire life. My parents didn’t even realize until I was scared to go down the steps for fire drills in pre-k. Anyway, I have so much empathy for anyone with vision issues. I thought these videos were amazing, then Henry(my 6 year old) wanted to see the video. I tried to explain what color blindness was to give the videos more context, and after watching them he said “He’s amazed, right?” I said he really is!”
Maybe children are even better at sharing the wonder of others!
And from here, there are so many directions to take this article. First let’s try to understand the biology before we consider why the soft science of connectedness is related to this topic.
Thank you to the YouTube channel called Seeker is rich with content that can expand us all. Here’s how they describe their work:
Seeker exists where technology, innovation and the future collide. We celebrate relentless curiosity with an insatiable drive to question, inspire and create.
Perfect! It’s so great to see a sight like that flourish. They have 2.6 million subscribers!
Here’s another short video by CNBC that brings in the science of this remarkable sun glass technology, including the story of its discovery.
So What’s Going On Here?
You may remember that not long ago, people on the web began sharing similar kinds of videos taken of people who received cochlear implants and were hearing for the first time, with the same sense of wonder.
Have you ever stopped to consider why these videos are so popular and compelling?
For many (including me) they bring tears!
I suspect that bunches of people are affected similarly, which accounts for 36 million views I found for just two videos of this kind. In fact, just the other day my tech specialist here at EWC told me that whenever he’s “down”, he will turn to a website that features video of people who are hearing for the very first time with the help of cochlear implants and he says they change his state of mind almost instantly. (Maybe a little life-hack idea for some of us!)
In the Bigger Picture
I did a little homework for us all and found nothing in the way of research related to the magnitude of shared wonder and joy that many of us feel when we watch these videos.
So what might we infer?
Maybe it’s akin to the feelings of generosity and gratitude that can be shared between strangers, when someone is lost or alone in a foreign land? Even when they don’t speak the same language, compassion and thankfulness are easily understood at a deeper level than can be communicated with words.
What if there is a world of insight to be gained about connecting with others at that level more often: the level where wonder, inspiration, kindness, and ingenious ideas are constantly at the ready?
Here’s some good news!
You’ll find all those things at EWC every day and on August 28th, 2017, we will bring you all this innovation on a completely redesigned website!
Yes, we will still be the only place on the web celebrating good news without an agenda, and you’ll still find we have no bizarre advertising ploys. The main difference will be a much-needed face-lift and added features that bring us closer to creating a global movement.
Join us daily for a dose of optimism from smart topics that are not being celebrated by the mass media!
Stay open, curious and hopeful.
~ Dr. Lynda
Still in the mood for more wonder?
Scroll to the bottom of this page to see a few more article I can recommend with this train of thought. Or hop on over to our homepage where you can get a feel for all that we are pointing people to when it comes to insight and innovation.
If you can’t get enough of this kind of science, I found one more really great video that is all about “possibility!”
- “Colorblind Brothers Overwhelmed by Seeing Color for the First Time.” YouTube, Jpapenhausen, 21 June 2016, www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1X0QTTtPmc. ↩
- “Colorblind Glasses First Experience! – EnChroma Glasses.” YouTube, TruePotatoCat, 14 May 2017, www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gyg8y6-Rtxw. ↩
- “What Causes Color Blindness?” YouTube, Seeker, 20 May 2015, www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUj7y7eqzkU. ↩
- “People See Color For The First Time With Glasses That Fix Colorblindness | CNBC.”YouTube, YouTube, 17 June 2016, www.youtube.com/watch?v=o6QuYiY1EJg. ↩
- “Can You Cure Colourblindness? – Brit Lab.” YouTube, BBC Earth Lab, 12 May 2016, www.youtube.com/watch?v=KinyIi53ByM. ↩