For most people, being sighted is an integral part of their experience, so it is hard to imagine life otherwise.
To help us understand what it's like not being able to see in the traditional sense, Tommy Edison, a man who has been blind since birth, answers viewers' questions about his life. On his YouTube channel, he posts lighthearted, yet informative and fascinating, vlogs, answering such questions as, "Can blind people draw?" "What's your favorite thing to touch as a blind person?" and "Can you explain intangible concepts to blind people?"
In his latest video (above), he answers whether or not blind people understand vision, and if it's something he can wrap his head around, or if it's just a vague perception to him.
He begins by chuckling that he doesn't quite understand the question, but hopes we can understand his answer.
He goes on to talk about the benefits of being sighted that many people take for granted, such as depth perception, being able to catch a ball, finding a friend in a crowded room, or drawing a three-dimensional object on a flat piece of paper.
"I don't know if I quite understand how that all works!"
"See, I'm trying to figure out when I sort of figured out people could see and I couldn't."
"I think that's just the way it was, and I don't think I really got what vision was until, like, maybe high school or junior high. I was just too busy trying to figure out how to fit into my own skin, you know, and trying to be comfortable with myself."
Edison says there's so much he doesn't understand about vision, and the way sighted people move through the world. But despite proclaiming his ideas of vision may be a bit "distorted," he offers his best attempt at describing exactly what he thinks vision is.
"I always figured that sighted people see everything. And I'm surprised when you don't see something ... I don't know if I understand what seeing actually is ... it's so weird, but it's really tough to get my head around it."
"As foreign as it is for you guys to imagine what my world is like not being able to see, being blind my whole life, that's how foreign it is for me to imagine what you guys do, and how vision works, and what it's like to see."
His response is a beautiful reminder that there is no one way to experience the world. Not having sight, something that seems so basic to most, doesn't have to limit us. It can merely change our perception of life in a way that it not necessarily better or worse — just different.