Lighthouse for the Blind’s Shining Light of Guidance

yldp in By Smriti Ashok

HOUSTON: For our third YLDP session on November 15, we paid a visit to the Lighthouse for the Blind on the basis of Philanthropy and Charity. There, we heard Gibson DuTerroil, President of the Lighthouse for the Blind, and Sandhya Rao, a frequent visitor of the organization, speak about the establishment and give insight about its purpose and its impact on the community. DuTerroil gave us a brief summary of the establishment’s purpose and goals and showed us around while pointing out how the building’s features were designed to help the blind. Rao told us her life story; she gave us details about her condition and how she overcame obstacles to become the successful law clerk she is today.

My group was very inspired by the two individuals. We were blown away by DuTerroil’s compassion for these individuals; he felt so eager to help them that he centered his job and lifestyle to help these people. Rao’s story was also insightful as it gave us a perspective that we do not get to see daily. She told us of her struggles, the discrimination that she felt, and her journey to become the person who she is today. Her story made us learn that everyone has struggles and problems and we should not judge people on appearance since appearances are just the outer lying aspects of our character. The two adults taught me as well as my group that compassion and understanding are essential in order to further one’s development.  Understanding a person’s character and his/her surroundings are vital for a leader because the leader needs to be able to connect with the people around him/her. Compassion is crucial as well because a little kindness can go a long way, and being warm and welcoming to another helps that individual feel comfortable and grow as well. In short, DuTerroil and Rao have taught me that judging people at first glance should be avoided and that understanding a person as well as showing them compassion is an important step in becoming a leader.