It’s summer here now in NY with a lot of people taking vacations. The last thing anyone wants to do is “work” — summer is for play! Little children are running around or riding their bikes, squealing with joy over simple things. Who would want to start a rigorous (and probably boring) program of vision exercises now?
The photo of the child in the sandbox out-of-doors in the sunlight reminds me of a sweet incident from my own childhood, one of the earliest I remember. My father was digging rocks out of the section of the yard he planned to use for a vegetable garden, keeping an eye on 2-year-old me digging in my sandbox nearby. I was working just like my beloved Daddy! He brought me a small stone he had cracked into 4 irregular sections, and I was fascinated — a rock puzzle! I took those pieces apart and fit them carefully together over and over, delighted each time with how perfectly the edges meshed, totally absorbed. I think my Dad was amused at how much I liked this simple free toy.
At 2 years old I didn’t have glasses yet. In this moment with my father nearby, I was relaxed and felt safe, and had no problem seeing. I remember there was a small crumb of the stone at the edge of one separation between the sections which was missing. I looked for it briefly, but since it wasn’t much bigger than the grains of sand underneath me, I decided to do without it, focusing instead on the puzzle pieces I did have. I was paying attention to visual detail naturally, without even knowing I was doing vision practice!
This is the type of natural practice which is available all the time, at near and far distances. I’ll be walking down the street in my neighborhood when something moving and red catches my attention, out of the corner of my eye. What is that? My gaze turns to it to inspect it for more clarity. Oh, it’s a toddler in a red shirt running around in circles on the grass on his front lawn to the side of the road up ahead, while his father pretends to chase him. What a touching, fun-to-watch, scene!
A vision buddy reports she is starting a computer program for vision improvement, which is reported to have helped major league athletes see more clearly. After just one day she says she sees the road signs better when she’s driving. She’s doing the program (instead of just thinking about doing it), because it’s fun for her.
The vision chart is also good practice at looking for details. However, many people have negative associations with the chart, from years of eye doctor visits when the chart showed that they couldn’t see well, and needed even stronger glasses. They were failing the test, again! If you want to improve your vision (or anything else, for that matter), why not see if you can find a way to practice that skill which is enjoyable for you? Girls, and boys, of every age, just want to have fun!
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