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Erik Weihenmayer in “Blindly He Goes…Up” and Uncle Jim in “Versabraille”

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In today’s society nothing seems impossible and every day there are incredible people who are doing incredible things. In the stories “Blindly He Goes Up” by Steve Rushin and “Versabraille” by Bill Schermbrucker, both Erik Weihenmayer and uncle Jim are blind, but they still manage to accomplish tasks every day. Erik Weihenmayer makes the impossible possible by being the first blind man to ever climb Mount Everest, while Uncle Jim blindly works his way across his town of Tulbagh at the young age of 7. Both characters faced extreme challenges.

In the year 2001 Erik Weihenmayer became the first blind man not only to attempt to climb Mount Everest but also succeed in his journey up this 29,035 foot peak. In 1991 he managed to graduate from Boston College with a degree in English and became a teacher. Erik is not only an incredible man but also an role model to thousands of other handicapped people. One of Erik’s most famous sayings is “because we were here”. He says this to show us that we must make the most of what we have because we are the only creature on this earth that has thought of perseverance. What Erik has done sets a new standard for people around the world. Erik has shown the world that all it takes to accomplish life goals is to have courage, optimism, and a sense of determination.

Like Weihenmayer, Uncle Jim is also a blind man, who “cannot remember seeing things”. When he was only 7 years old, he managed, “with no vision at all, to travel all the way” across town to pick up some tobacco for his father. Even though he was a small child, he was very determined and faced his fears with pride that is to be admired. The only goal that Uncle Jim had in mind was to make his father proud of his actions and so he “marches slowly, determinedly across the road”. This taught Jim that he had the ability to do what he wanted with his life and nobody could stop him. From this incident we can see that he was so strong-minded even if he was blind and very small. That is why he later became a person who always stuck to his goal to collect money for blind people.

Overall, the two blind people are well worth learning because under such unprivileged circumstances, they still strive to do something formidable that is even difficult for normal people.

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