“And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.” (Matthew 7:3-5, NLT)
Imagine being in a room with a small group of people sitting on metal folding chairs. Some even holding a cup of coffee. Someone stands in front of the room and says, “Hi. My name is Steve, and I am stubborn.” And everyone answers back, “Hi Steve.” I know this sounds funny, but this is serious. I found that I can be my own worst enemy.
Off and on for the last few years someone would ask me why I don’t have a captioned phone. Even my mom asked why I don’t get one.
For casual talk, I do OK on the phone; for the most part. But I still miss things. For detailed information, I have trouble. I can’t fill in the blanks for that. Also when I get tired or frustrated, I’m less able to concentrate. Then my speech understanding goes down. But for chatting I often do well enough that some people don’t realize I can’t hear well.
A week ago though I had a lot of trouble. You see I upgraded my wife’s laptop from Windows 7 to Windows 10. Everything worked very well except the online videos. I went to Microsoft website and left my phone number so they could call back. Three hours later they called. “OK I can do this,” I thought.
The woman on the other end wanted me to type: “ah, ah, aaw” and other letters. I answered back “You want me to type ‘A-A-R’ and what else?” “No sir, ah ah aaw” and then more letters I couldn’t understand. “OK A-K-R, what?” “No sir. Ah as in apple. Ah as in house,” (I quickly thought: That was an ‘H’?) she continues, “Aaw as in room.”
I don’t remember the actual letters, but you get the idea. At that time I handed the phone over to my wife. When the IT woman made the remote access I took over.
Here is the truth. Most people wearing ear protectors can still hear more than me. And even though I do have a cell phone and I do use it, I will often hand it over to my wife. At church, if a video is show, it is meaningless to me if there are no captions. Because my hearing loss is so different than most, I also usually don’t hear the beat in the music. I can clap to the beat only by watching others. (Most hard of hearing people can hear the beat. Even those with worst hearing than mine.)
I don’t want to tell you why I have resisted getting a captioned phone. But now I’m beginning to think maybe I should. I should stop being stubborn. In this case being stubborn is the same as being a hypocrite. (Matthew 7:3-5)
I want more for the hard of hearing as well as the deaf community. I want to do it right for them. I want to continue to investigate options for church (live real-time captioning, a looped room or personal PA system). I don’t know how this will work, but I do know I need lots of prayer. Prayer that I know what direction to head, and prayer that I won’t be so stubborn when it comes to my own hearing loss.
Steve can be reached via email.