I remember a few years back driving somewhere, probably to a meeting, and catching a snatch of a novel read on the radio.
A character that had trained as a lawyer found he was unable to practice because he was too shy in court. So he made a new career as a proofreader. He was very successful and enjoyed being a proofreader and rose to the top of his profession.
But then one day after many years he had an eyesight problem. He cried over the proofs he had to check. Long exposure to printer’s ink had made him allergic to it. Another character asks, “What did you do?” He answers:
“What can anyone do in such circumstances? Accept it and go on. Please always remember, the secret of survival is to embrace change, and to adapt.”
I liked that a lot and have always remembered it.
But I didn’t really make the effort to find the book until today. Then just last night I spoke to a student with visual impairment, far more serious than mine. I was really gripped and impressed by how he managed and said so. He laughed and said
“Well you just have to get on with it. What else can you do?”
That prompted me to search harder. The book, I now know, is “A Fine Balance” by Rohanton Mistry. I’m ashamed I left it all that time to get my hands on it.
It’s a lovely book. And that little bit I got from the radio years ago really helped me when I had a stroke. An eye specialist at a famous hospital said
“It’s always a blow…”
and I thought
“The secret of survival is… to embrace and adapt”.
So that’s what I’m doing.