Have you ever met a stranger and realized that person made an impact on your life? You might never have caught their name, or even managed to ask for their contact information. I think most of us have had at least one stranger come into our lives and changed our lives for the better.
For the Hard of Hearing person, it’s hard to imagine ourselves as having an impact on anyone else – especially in our day to day lives.
Guess what? We DO make an impact on someone else’s life – even if it’s just a quick glance, a smile, or even a “thank you”. I opened the door today to my mail carrier (yes, I have a regular one!) and she gave me the biggest grin I’ve ever seen. It’s almost like she was looking forward to dropping off the next Amazon package at my house. I confess we order way too much stuff online.
Let me take you back 4 months ago. My usual mail carrier (Cam was his name) no longer came around. This time it was a woman. She rang the doorbell, and asked me to sign for a parcel. I didn’t quite understand what she was asking for as she spoke quite quickly. I immediately told her that I had a hearing loss and needed her to slow down.
Guess what? That one minute interaction changed EVERYTHING. Seek first to understand, then to be understood.
Because my new mail carrier (who I later discovered, her name is Morgan) was positively impacted by our brief encounter, I think she has a deeper appreciation for effective communication, especially with those who are deaf or hard of hearing.
The same goes for my grocery store, I have often popped in there with my hair up and the regulars seem to know that I have a hearing loss. Even the odd person wearing a hearing aid will look at me as if to say “look at me! I also have a hearing aid and/or cochlear implant!” or “Wow, I know someone else who has a hearing loss”.
Bring your unique gift of being a HOH become a ray of hope for those who might otherwise see hearing loss as a stigma. That can be our New Year’s Resolution, Happy 2020!