Learning to Overcome Fear and Not Give Up When Growing Up Blind

Nancy Shugart on stage for her TED talk.

We all have hopes and dreams for our children, and when they are born with seemingly debilitating issues, it can be hard to know what the future will bring. This TEDx Talk will erase some of those fears.

Nancy Shugart was eight when she was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa and macular degeneration, but it wasn’t until she was 20 that she realized she was blind. She just knew it was harder for her to see things. So she struggled through school and life and at times considered giving up.

But she didn’t, and in her talk she tells how she came to be the person she is: someone who is blind but not defined by it.
“It’s not the eyesight,” she says, “it’s the vision that’s important.” Told by her college dean to give up her dream of being a music teacher in the public school system, she went on to do just that, for the next 20 plus years. Fear, she says, is what holds us back, while curiosity pulls us forward.

It took Nancy to the age of 20 to recognize the true origin of the mountain standing between her and her life’s dream, and it wasn’t blindness but fear. It’s clear she overcame that fear and is happy having done so.

Take a look at this inspirational video and let go of the fear about your own child’s future.



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