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Sight Without Vision

March 24, 2020

“The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.” –Helen Keller

We are in a season of incredible uncertainty. Daily briefings, social media rumors, and the latest closures have us all trying to navigate the coming days and weeks. We should all pray for wisdom during this time.

As we look toward the future, we need vision now more than ever. We need vision from leaders in government, in business, in organizations, and in communities across the country—which takes us back to the quote above by Helen Keller.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Helen Keller, this American hero was deaf and blind; yet, she defied all odds by learning to communicate, earning a bachelor’s degree, and advocating for individuals with special needs all over the world. 

Her story is what makes her statement above so powerful. She was blind. She knew the daily struggle of not being able to see. Yet, she believed there was a greater problem—sight without vision.

When I think of “vision,” my mind naturally goes to the corporate statement written on the wall, the one printed in the book, or the one repeated week after week at the team meeting. These can certainly be examples of vision.

But the vision Helen Keller is talking about is more than this. It’s a dream, a goal, a purpose, or a place that you’re headed.


Proverbs 29 is one of my favorite passages of Scripture: “Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Prov. 29:18, KJV). The word perish is blunt and weighty. In other words, without vision, the people will die.

The New American Standard version presents a different perspective: “Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained,” and it goes on, “but happy is he who keeps the law.” So without vision, people have no guardrails, no structure, nothing to work toward. But people are happy when they have boundaries and direction.

Not only does Proverbs 29:18 reinforce Keller’s statement, but it takes it one step further. Without vision, people can’t be happy. We need to have a purpose to live a satisfying life.

This week, ask yourself this question: Do I know where I’m going?

As I’ve gotten older and passed certain milestones in life, it’s harder to have a clear vision of where I want to go. When I was in high school, I wanted to graduate. When I was in college, my goal was to get a job. Sometimes vision comes more naturally when we are less content with our present circumstances.

Other times in life, when things seem to be going well, we need to work harder to uncover a vision for the future. If you’re a leader, it’s not just for you but for the people in your care. It’s your responsibility to provide and reinforce a vision for your family, your team, and your community, so that others can experience the same kind of peace and freedom that comes with purpose.

So how can you respond? Not everyone is in a position to cast a vision, but all of us need to be able to articulate it, reinforce it, and remind the people around us of what we’re working toward.


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