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Tale Of The Blind Thief

Updated on July 21, 2015

A Big Setback

My younger brother Mike was born legally blind, a big setback for anybody…but not him. His handicap was offset somewhat by several factors.

First, our parents had the good sense not to treat him any differently than the rest of his siblings, within limits of course. He was expected to achieve along with the rest of us. The other thing in his favor was his IQ ranked as genius level. This he used to his betterment, although not always in an honest, forthright manner.

Mike never knew what “normal” sight was. Therefore, as far as he was concerned, his sight, as limited as it was, was normal. However, thinking you can see alright and being normally sighted are two different things. Mike grew up running into things that “weren’t there”…parked cars, telephone poles and the like. I suppose that’s why he had such a hard head. You can’t teach a genius anything.

He was told he couldn’t ride a bicycle, but he did. He wrecked them all. He was told he couldn’t ride a moped, but he did. He ended up in the trunk of a car getting a flat tire changed alongside of a highway. He suffered a concussion, broken arm and leg in that incident.

As I mentioned earlier, Mike didn’t always have the halo he now wears. His genius served him well as a criminal mastermind. If he wanted something he devised a scheme to get it. So as we grew up a lot of our possessions would mysteriously disappear. Later they would be found belonging to a neighbors’ kid or one of our friends. And although Mike had no visual means of income, he always seemed to be the only one us who had any spending money.

When confronted with the evidence, Mike categorically denied any knowledge of the incident and claimed the Fifth Amendment. Sometimes I think he drank the fifth instead. Eventually, we accepted the fact it was useless to interrogate our brother because he would never admit any guilt.

Learning The Error Of His Ways

Mike continued in this manner into young adulthood when he learned the error of his ways. He was employed as a stock boy at a local department store. When management discovered his skills in electronics they utilized him as an electrician for several years, although still paying him stock boy wages. He set his mastermind to work and devised a plan to “get what was his”. Since he had installed the stores’ security system, he also knew how to disarm it. He recruited a get-away driver and one night broke into the store and piled their car full of stereos, and other audiovisual items. Unfortunately the get-away driver had spilled the beans to a friend who notified police of the impending caper.

As Mike and his partner in crime exited the store the parking lot was illuminated by flood lights and every cop in town must have been there to arrest them.

But up until that time Mike continued believing he could see as well as anyone else. He applied to jobs and amazingly was hired. He did work for many electrical contractors doing wiring and other related tasks. But his favorite area of expertise was in the audio visual field…and still is.

Mike no longer wastes his talents on illegal activities. The little sight he had is now all but gone. He is totally blind in one eye and can only see shadows in the other. However, he still actively repairs audiovisual equipment on the side for extra income.

But you still can’t convince him he can’t see.


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    • JY3502 profile image

      John Young 7 years ago from Florence, South Carolina

      It was intentional KF. The theme is, don't pay attention to what others tell you you can or can't do. Your life is what YOU make it. Thanks for the kind comments

    • KFlippin profile image

      KFlippin 7 years ago from Amazon

      Enjoyed this story of your brother's journey, very well written, and I can't help but see a moral theme here, whether intended or not! The closing line ". . .you still can't convince him he can't see." echoes throughout this essay, and for me is the thought I ponder,....KF

    • JY3502 profile image

      John Young 7 years ago from Florence, South Carolina

      Thank you, I looked at a few of you hubs also. Good writing techniques!

    • _cheryl_ profile image

      _cheryl_ 7 years ago from California

      I have to admire your brothers persistence in his desire to do what he feels he's capable of. Even though it led him down the wrong path at first, he has a drive and motivation that not too many people have. Interesting story.