Why Being Color Blind is Not as Bad as You Think

Have you ever tried to pick out an outfit for the day, and found that a black sport jacket was actually navy blue?

Perhaps you bought a car once that you thought was black, but it was really dark green, and someone had to point it out to you.

Someone might have teased you at some point in your life about not knowing the difference between a magenta, fuchsia, or lavender colored scarf.

I am color blind, and I’ve heard them all. Or should I say I am “color deficient”, which is actually a much more accurate description of this fairly common human condition.

What is color blindness or “color deficiency”?

Does it mean that you can’t see color at all like watching an old silent black and white film?

Yes and no. Rarely does someone experience complete color blindness. Yes this is a real thing, and this is usually caused by a recessive gene disorder. But most of the time, it is less severe.

Have you ever seen a test that looks something like this? It is called the PseudoIsochromatic Plate (PIP) Color Vision Test 24 Plate Edition or the Ishihara Color Vision Test.

If you ever took this test and did not pass it, it usually means that you have trouble seeing the difference between certain colors. If someone you know is color blind, or if you are color blind, then you will know exactly what I mean.

Take a look at this video and you will get the idea. By the way, the most annoying question you can ask a color blind person is “What color is this?” Guys, knock it off! We can see color!

Most color blind people can’t tell the difference between red or green, which is the most common type of color blindness. There is also blue-yellow color blindness, which is less common.

Take traffic lights for instance. If someone has red-green blindness, they can’t always distinguish between red and green. So they learn to respond to the way the traffic signal lights up. The red light is generally on top and green is on the bottom.

Yes, being color blind can make it tricky to match your shirt and pants sometimes, but it’s usually not a serious problem. People who are color blind can do normal stuff, even drive. But it may be difficult to see specific shades of color, especially in low light.

How is this related to life?

Sometimes we only see things in black and white. We can’t always distinguish that there are subtle shades of color which affect how we make decisions in business or in our personal lives.

Mellody Hobson describes something like this in her Ted Talk.

Now, you may be reading this article and saying to yourself after viewing that video “Hey, screw you! When it comes to race, yes, I am color blind. I don’t treat people of color any different than I would treat my friends or family!”

HOLD ON YOU BIG WEIRDO! I am not accusing anyone or any population of being prejudice or showing discrimination toward any race or culture. I was just presenting a different way to think about color blindness to get your attention.

What I am saying is that COLOR VARIATIONS ARE INFINITE. And just because you can’t see all the different color variations, doesn’t mean they don’t exist.

What I am suggesting is that color blindness is sometimes good (as in the case of treating all races fairly and equally), and sometimes color blindness is a pain in the ass (as in trying to match clothes or trying to buy the right color product that someone likes).

But sometimes the greatest tragedy is when someone is so color blind, they are oblivious to all of the colors right in front of their eyes, and they didn’t even know it! And they may be colors that help us solve problems.

Isn’t that a lot like life?

Sometimes the most innovative and creative solutions to problems are in shades of color so subtle that we miss the beauty and simplicity of their power to change the most important things in our lives.

Answers are not always black and white. Sometimes it takes someone else to show us a shade of color that we have never seen or thought possible before.

How is your vision today? Do you see things in terms of black and white, or maybe in a simple limited 7 color scale of the light spectrum?

Or do you leave your mind open to experiencing an infinite number of colors?

By the way, look closely at that picture of the hot air balloon above. Now try reading the text above it, while looking at the image through your peripheral vision (not directly). Notice anything happening? It’s an optical illusion.

If you figure it out, leave a comment and tell me what you see. Have fun!

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Originally published at leapfroggingsuccess.com on August 15, 2016.