Lazy eye muscles? Revisit a challenge from JFK. Take the dare!

JFK - John Fitzgerald KennedyIt is said that John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States, seemed to have lazy eye muscles, which would sometimes cause one to deviate. Kennedy’s picture at the right certainly bears that out. Yet, he was able to achieve the highest office in the USA. President Kennedy showed us that our value is not dependent on what others see. It is set by who we are. Our worth is determined by the person our creator made us to be.

Those who slight others because of physical appearance are the biggest losers. The condescending see only the exterior. But we can channel their taunts to nurture the roots of our compassion. Because we know disgrace, we can respond to the unlovely with grace.

Remember JFK’s famous quote: “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.” I challenge you today to a paraphrase of JFK: Ask not what another can do for you. Ask what you can do for another.

Who is the unique and special person inside you? More importantly, who are you willing to become? Next time you look in a mirror, smile at who you can be. Voice your commitment: “I know how it feels to be downcast, trodden under, a castaway. I can help others. I will!”

The hurting and berated are everywhere, and you have what it takes to make a difference. Even with your turned eye, even in real life, even as you struggle yourself, you can do it! You can help someone else who struggles. You may find that you can help even those who reject you. The bully suffers most. He covers his pain with callous words. She hides under a mask of mockery. Can you care for the person who is uncaring? Are you willing to try?

Remember JFK. Refuse to dwell on how others treat you, or what you fear they will see as they gaze on your face. That is not important. What is important is whether you are willing to help others. Begin today to approach each encounter by thinking, “How can I reach out to this person today? What little spark does he need? How can I make her day brighter?”

I dare you to try! Will you take this dare? If you are new to this type of thinking and behavior, it will take practice. Don’t give up, for you will find that helping someone else makes you the biggest winner of all!

If you take this dare, share your story in the comments below.


13 thoughts on “Lazy eye muscles? Revisit a challenge from JFK. Take the dare!”

  1. I am a 67 year old man with a lazy eye, and all my life, I have found it difficult to look straight at people. This has had a terrible effect on my relations with people, who may distrust me because I do not look at them. It has also made me a poor judge of people, because I seldom look directly into their faces. I just discovered that JFK had a lazy eye after noticing it in a photo and studying as many photos as I could. Google took me to your web page. I MAKE THIS PROMISE. I will begin to look at people, directly. It is never too late. I can still improve my life. I may never become President, but I can become a more related person. Thank you for your web site. Billy Bob (not my name)

  2. Good for you, Billy Bob! I’m 63, and you are right. It is never too late. We can always improve. I’m glad the challenge from JFK spoke to you, and I hope many others will feel the same way. Just think what we can do to improve our world, not to mention our own lives, if we all begin to look at and think of others first. Thanks for sharing and best to you.

  3. Lois, thanks for sharing this. I new about honest Abe but this is news to me.

  4. Actually, it was news for me also, Mike. I was sharing JFK’s quote in comments of another page of this blog. Did a search to be sure I got the quote correct, saw this pic, and thought, “Hmmm… he looks like he has a turned eye. I never noticed that before!” A little more research, and I discovered I’m not the only one who has come to that conclusion.

  5. hello, i’m a 15 year old girl and i’m cross eyed. its very hard and i get made fun of constantly, being called “googly eyes” by almost everyone in school. but as you said, its the person you are inside that matters and we all have to remember that(:

  6. You’re right, sdjfhjask. Cruel words from others do hurt, but it is our own negative opinions of ourselves that hurt the most. You’ve discovered the lovely young woman you are inside. Focus on appreciating and developing that person.

    Next time someone calls you “googly eyes,” smile (even with a slight giggle if you like) and say, “Yes, they are a little googly, aren’t they? I’m focusing on being the best person I can be inside.”

    This will not only show your critic a glimpse of who you really are. Each time you respond in a positive way, it will reaffirm your inner beauty to yourself.

  7. 49 years old. Laughed at every day buy my peers.
    Tired. Left eye gone to the wall just like JFK.
    Not rich tho. Not prominent. Not loved. so Tired.Because i dont fit in I dont get enough hours a week now.I am entertainment for my peers.Intelligence matters not. Ready to halt…

  8. 21 years: Tell me Lois, how do you deal it when people talk about your eyes BEHIND your back:)? I usually put Facebook statuses about discrimination, though I doubt people ‘get’ it:)!

  9. Okay…so I totally did not notice the whole JFK eye thing until today. How interesting is that!!!???? I too have a left eye that is turned completely outward. It’s really hard to establish relationships with people when it is darn near impossible for me to look at them. I’m often thought of as rude because people feel like I’m always brushing them off. In all actuality I’m a really cool person!! I do a pretty good job at hiding my “flaw,” except for when I let my guard down. This is when people catch me and ask all the embarassing questions. I have friends that don’t notice my eye or just don’t say anything about it. I fear that once they know the full truth, they won’t look at me the same. Also, I would really love to have a “first date.” I’m 18 by the way, but I’m just so frightened about the whole “eye contact thing.” ***Phew***
    This feels good to talk about.

  10. I saw photos of the recently released JFK photos and noticed his left eye turning outward, this is call exotropia and in this case a left exotropia. Investigating this further another photo of JFK shows his right eye outward. Evidently JFK had alternating exotropia ( I’m judging ~ 20-30 prism diopters by casual obsversation)

    Dr. George

  11. Dear Bradley G. Edwards,

    Your words above broke my heart:

    “49 years old. Laughed at every day buy my peers.
    Tired. Left eye gone to the wall just like JFK.
    Not rich tho. Not prominent. Not loved. so Tired.Because i dont fit in I dont get enough hours a week now.I am entertainment for my peers.Intelligence matters not. Ready to halt…”

    Bradley, hon, do not halt. Do not give up. Those who use you for entertainment are not your peers. Their actions prove they are beneath you and I pity them because people who laugh at another’s disability are missing something deep inside that the rest of us have. There are many, many people like me out there who would welcome you as a friend if you had the ‘friend possibility mojo thing’ going on when you first met. You know what I mean – if you are someone they would be friends with under normal circumstances, your eye wouldn’t matter in the least. I care about you, Bradley; please take heed and know how valued you are. I hope you will find peace over time – this may be a good place to start – sharing with others and learning from their experiences.

  12. Dorie, it has been over 2 years since Bradley wrote here, and I am not sure if he is still following this post. I sure hope so, because you wrote a wonderful response. I was snowed under at the time, I am sure, else I would have reached out to Bradley when he posted. I’m so glad you reached out to him now and, if Bradley is not still following this, your post can still help others who are experiencing the same thing. There are many with strabismus who face similar struggles. Thank you for caring, Dorie!

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