Category Archives: awareness

Understand the Understandings of Understanding

I'm only responsible for what I say not for what you understand.Hi there everyone!!

It is my understanding that there is much to understand about understanding.

It’s not binary – it’s not that we either understand or we don’t understand. Rather, there is a whole spectrum of gradients in understanding anything.

And more than that, there’s other dimensions to understanding which may give us more empowerment in our awareness with information, people, and life.

Understanding Something

Friends who understand what we do not say...This may be what most people understand as “understanding”. It is the ability to process information in a structured fashion which produces consistent results.

A basic example is mathematics. You probably understand that 2 + 2 = 4. You understand much more than that. You understand numbers and how to add them. You could do this with “almost” any number.

We’ll keep it simple by not getting philosophical with negatives, fractions, and imaginary numbers. So, realize that even this definition of “understanding something” could be unclear because the scope or depth of the understanding in this realm is not specifically defined.

If you live in a house, then you simply understand that you live in a house, without knowing the exact definition of a house.

Understand that You Understand

The biggest communicationproblem is we do not listen to understand. We listen to reply.Recalling information is the foundation of understanding. Or is it?

Perhaps you haven’t done long division in years. You may not remember how to do it, but given several hours, you’d pick it up pretty quickly, right?

You may not have ridden a bicycle in decades, but it won’t take you long to rediscover balance.

If you’re familiar with your neighborhood, you understand that you can locate any place faster than most people, without knowing where that place is exactly right now.

So, you may not “understand” something in this moment, yet know that you understand it from a larger context.

Understand that Someone Understands

Those who judge will never understand, and those who understand will never judge.We use many things we may not understand.

For example, we (most of us) use electricity, appliances, and the Internet without understanding how they work. We never knew how they worked, and we may never know how they work. Yet we use them ubiquitously throughout our lives.

We understand that other experts, engineers, and inventors understand how these things work.

Thankfully, there are new babies born who will become the new experts of our society.

Understand that You Will Understand

When you know too much psychology, you can't get mad....Sometimes, understanding is a matter of faith.

When I first started as an entrepreneur, I had very little understanding of what entrepreneurship would be like. I had preconceived notions, and I understood that there was much I didn’t know that I didn’t know about entrepreneurship.

We borrow understanding from the future whenever we take on a huge commitment. This is true whether we want to become a doctor, an actor, or a philanthropist.

As a teenager, we may not understand why parents to the things they do. However, we may have heard the adage that when we’re parents, all of that will make sense.

Understand that You Will Never Understand

Other People's Journey?Isn’t it obvious that there will be things that all of us will never understand?

How many times have we ended an intimate relationship, not understanding what caused the hardships and break-ups?

Some of us have had to deal with so much adversity in our lives that it is overwhelming. We’ve been taught to find meaning in these experiences, and that helps sometimes. Other times, we may come to the conclusion that we will never understand why.

This world is full of horrible things that are unconscionable. Yet this dysfunctional world keeps functioning.

Understand that You Don’t Need to Understand

Nothing hurts a good soul and kind heart more than to live amoungst people who can't understand it.In the realm of spirituality and religions, there are many things that we’re told to simply accept and not try to understand at all.

This is the paradox that manifests in believers who even get presented with information that contradicts their framework and history.

Their understanding is based on indoctrinated or channeled convictions. Their understanding doesn’t need data, experience, nor any form of validation.

The utility of this form of understanding can be found in some segments of conspiracy theorists, network marketers, global politics, or corporate cultures.

Understand that You Understand Nothing

Trying to understand the behavior of some people is like trying to smell the color 9.Every understanding can be negated through a transcended form of new understanding.

Understanding the power of gravity has given us greater awareness about our world, yet kept many people from believing that humans could fly.

But disregarding that understanding, planes were eventually manufactured. And now there are millions of people flying everyday.

Everything we know is just a temporary understanding that helps facilitate a new understanding. To understand something completely new, start from knowing that we understand nothing.

Get it? Got it.

If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got!Let’s love the world together…

[)anish /|hmed, blind visionary


Hey there everyone!!

I know I’m awesome. I possess many talents, have developed many skills, and have done a tremendous amount of personal growth through various therapies and programs over decades.

And, I’ve learned that many successes in life don’t come from an individual’s merits, but rather from the cohesiveness of a complete team.

That’s where I feel I have I’ve really been given a raw deal.


Family is the most important thing in the world.Starting with the first team of family, I didn’t get much. I understand that most families could be qualified as being dysfunction, so I don’t say this lightly. I’ve had less than a dozen conversations in my entire life with my father (despite my efforts). Other than financial support (mostly through welfare) until the age of eighteen, I didn’t get much… I didn’t even get a genuine hug, let alone seeing a role model to know what it is like to become a man.

My brother may have had the same experience, but he didn’t have to deal with having albinism and being blind (nor did he support me as an older brother). I imagine that many people who grow up without a father figure could “see” what’s happening with other friends or in the media. To this day, I feel some members of my family still don’t get (or choose to support) my physical limitations.


Sportsmanship, for me, is when a guy walks off the court and you relaly can't tell whether he won or lost, when he carries himself with pride either way.When playing sports, I was always the last person to get picked for teams. This makes sense, of course, because I would be the weakest player no matter what the sport. I remember being the goalie in floor hockey, and I never even saved one shot. Eventually, I was told that I was unable to play any sports, and was deprived physical education classes of all kinds.


Difference between school and lifeIt wasn’t much different with school projects. Nobody wanted to work with me. Once in history class, I thought I was assigned to an awesome group of people. Unfortunately, I got lost on the TTC (public transit) while going to one of the group meetings. Because of that, the group convinced our teacher that I didn’t contribute anything and I was given a failing grade.

At lunch time, I would try to sit at large tables so there was ample opportunity to have people sit beside me. But nobody would sit beside me. One day I was sitting at a small table with just one other empty chair, thinking that maybe a different dynamic would yield a better result. I thought it worked when a woman approached me to ask if the seat was taken. I excitedly say, “It’s free!” and then the woman grabbed the chair and took it to another table, leaving me all alone with no other chairs.


I thought I was finally part of a winning team when I was a co-producer for a musical. There was still something missing, though. As an example, one time I found out that the entire team went out to a big social pow-wow at Canada’s Wonderland (amusement park) without even asking me. When I inquired to find out why, they said that because it was an outdoor activity, that I wouldn’t be interested due to my skin condition. When I shared that that was a big assumption which was inaccurate, they didn’t show any remorse.

Still, I loved this group of people and wanted the relationships to continue. Being responsible for setting up on-line ticketing, I asked my partner to please check the accuracy of the ticket since our physical address had changed (as I was unable to read the ticket that would be printed). The new ticket was not checked, and it did have the wrong address. Apparently, it was still “my” responsibility to get it right and I was dismissed from the team after this incident.


Since I couldn’t find team players, despite my efforts, I thought I’d make it a numbers game. For years, I went to as many networking events as possible, attempting to connect with as many people as possible.

While I connected with thousands of people and broke Facebook records for number of friends, I wasn’t creating the dynamic team that I had envisioned.

Even through the power of network marketing, I couldn’t create the right team. I saw many others create teams that became profitable, and I even taught others how to build large followings and significantly increase their financial wealth.

Eventually, I did recruit someone who became a superstar and now I collect a small royalty from that huge business. That’s great, but it’s greater for that guy who makes literally 500 times as much money as I do.

Health Care

If you're crazy and you know it, shake your meds!I have sought out many doctors, healers, and holistic practitioners over the years. Some of them have been OK, and a few have been great. However, none of them seem to be team players.

They reside in their own ivory tower and are a slave to bureaucracy. For example, it would take many months for my general physician to simply contact my psychiatrist. And it would never be real-time or over the phone—just through letters. My feeling is that those letters are just quickly skimmed and not really understood. Moreover, they go-back-and-forth arguing, from telling me I need therapy to telling me I don’t.

There’s No “I” in Team

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." - Margaret MeadYet, “I” am the common variable that must exist in a team. Where do I find my teammates? How do I create a winning team?

Let’s love the world together…

[)anish /|hmed, blind visionary

Intricacies of Compassion

Make sure to include self-compassion.Hi there everyone!!

I’ve just completed a weekend with one of the most inclusive communities I’ve ever experienced – The Contact Improv Regional Jam!

When I acknowledged one of the organizers with this realization, he asked me if I could be more specific. So here is one such example.

During Sunday night’s dance, my water bottles ran out of water, and I was getting really thirsty from my exhaustive moves. I asked my friend, Alex, “Do you know if there’s a water fountain nearby?”

From the Mundane to the Profound

One of my friends, Jordon, thought that this subject matter is obvious and he understands the lessons already.  He didn’t want a sermon, and didn’t want to be told what to do.

I assert that sometimes the obvious isn’t obvious.  Common sense is not common.  As another friend, Sarah, said, “Some people need to be hit over the head to get it”.

I don’t want to hit you over head.  Consider that a master does the same fundamentals as a novice, only with extreme precision, graceful flow, and impeccable execution.  More importantly, the master does this without conscious effort, in the realm of unconscious competence.

You may already understand a lesson, and are capable of understanding it at a much deeper and substantial level.

Alex’s Answer Became the Genesis of this Article.

Nice is different than good.Telling you what the five words Alex spoke to the question “Do you know if there’s a water fountain nearby?” may sound obvious and simple. So, let me take you step-by-step, to really get the deeper meaning and significance of his compassionate words. You may skip to the end, but may miss some valuable lessons.

Play a game and guess what the magic phrase might be.  Challenge yourself and see if you come up close to the answers that follow…

How Hard Could It Be?

Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations.Over the years, some people have responded to my challenges of not being able to find things, places, or people with this remark: “Just ask somebody – How Hard Can That Be?”

In many situations (like being lost in the suburbs), there is nobody for miles around. That can be hard.

Imagine someone visually impaired, trying to just locate a moving body. Keep in mind that that body may be in a hurry, on their cell phone, listening to music, or simply lost in their own thoughts. All of these visual signals would be lost on me.

Empathy is seeing with the eyss of another, listening with the ears of another, and feeling with the heart of another.Now imagine not having the ability to make eye contact with anybody. How would you know if you have someone’s attention? In this culture, grabbing somebody or touching them, could be considered hostile. In dense urban areas, there may be so much traffic or background noise, that audio communication is neither effective, nor even considered an option (like a loud night club).

Empathy is a gateway to compassion. People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care. When we help people in difficult situations, our energy reflects this phenomenon.

Take Risks, and Ask Anyways

You Are The Risk I'll Always TakeI wrote an article called “The Power of an Authentic Request”, so I understand the nuances of being approachable, being clear, being concise, and being compelling. And there are many good people in the world, who either authentically consider, or authentically accept requests from strangers.

As you may know from your own experience, many people ignore strangers altogether. Even our culture teaches, “Don’t talk to strangers”.

What if that stranger looks really different or is acting in a peculiar way? I can understand why people wouldn’t want to talk to a blind albino, especially if they had never seen an albino in their life before (or may not have ever seen a picture of one).

Be a stranger talker, and have a relationship with a stranger.

Sometimes, I Am Met with Anger

The more something upsets you, the more iti is meant for you. When it no longer upsets you, it is no longer needed because the lesson is complete.What can be worse than being ignored? Being ridiculed, laughed at, cursed at, verbally assaulted, or concerned for my safety.

This doesn’t happen often, but it does happen from time to time. At some level, I do understand it now.

I am sometimes (without knowing it) invading people’s space. They don’t understand that I can’t see, and they see me as being confrontational first.

For example, one time I went up to a couple to ask them for directions. They seemed really upset. Then, I noticed cameras all around me. I had accidentally walked onto a movie set and disturbed the filming. I guess that costs people money, too.

In retrospect, I realize that there have been times when what I’ve been asking for was right in front of me.  People thought I was either crazy, or trying to be funny.

Sometimes, I’m Given Inaccurate, Unclear or Incomplete Information

Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance.In people’s haste to get rid of me (or quickly solve the problem), they guess, or tell me what they “think” is true. Perhaps what they think they know, just isn’t so?

Are people’s heart really in the right place? Receiving inaccurate information can cost hours of time and frustration. Of course, I try to course-correct by asking other people. Nevertheless, there have been times where I have been sent back-and-forth over the same territory because of conflicting information.

The biggest communicationproblem is we do not listen to understand. We listen to reply.In some situations, people use their fingers and say “over there” or “that way”. I explain that I cannot see, but they just don’t understand. They continue, “just behind that huge building!”

My favorite phrase is “you can’t miss it”, because then I know I’m going to miss it.

Strategies of Deference

In other attempts to be helpful, some people defer the problem. For example, they direct me to another person I need to find.  But I can’t locate them (or that person doesn’t exist).

We blame society, but we are society.In some situations, people will defer by time. They will ask me to wait five minutes or so before they can help me. Unfortunately, most of the time, five minutes becomes twenty-five minutes. Or worse, the person forgets about me, and leaves me without notice.

And still, some will defer the importance of the request and blame me for having the challenge. In the case of requesting water, possible responses would be, “don’t worry—you don’t need any water right now!”, or “why don’t you carry more water with you?”

Meeting the Need vs. Getting into My World

Integral wisdom involves a direct participation in every moment: the Observer and the obsered are dissolved in the light of pure awareness, and no mental concepts or attitudes are present to dim that lightI believe that compassion isn’t just about accommodation. It’s about integration. That is, nobody wins unless we all win. And getting my needs met is not winning—it’s merely surviving.

Winning is having our needs met, with dignity, in an inclusive and enjoyable way. Giving accurate and clear information upon a request, is compassionate. And here’s how to go even further, tiny-step by tiny-step.

Consider: “Let Me Get It for You”

You can't help everyone, but everyone can help someone.This is going one step beyond solving the problem. It is taking responsibility for the problem.

At the same time, the statement infers a relationship dynamic that is subordinate. While it is great to have things done for us, it may leave us feeling helpless in the long run.

If Alex brought water for me, I still wouldn’t know where the water fountain is. If I needed more water in the future, I would be reliant on making a similar request again.

Ponder: “Let Me Help You Get It”

"A kind gesture can reach a would that only compassion can heal." - Steve MaraboliThis response is so beautiful. To be nit-picky, this phrase has the connotation that help and support is needed.

And yes, in many cases that is a true statement—there is a need being met with support. However, there is another layer of communication I found to be even more comforting…

Alex said (drum roll): “Let’s Go Find It Together…”

We Are All In This TogetherWow. Do you see how this statement is making us equal partners on a noble journey?

It’s so co-operative, collaborative and co-creative! It is giving BOTH of us the shared responsibility. It is honoring all parties as contributing members of the team.

More than that, the power is in the tone of the words spoken. Alex said “Let’s go find it together…” with enthusiasm. There was a sense that he would enjoy this journey with me. In fact, he may even learn from the adventure through my unique perspective.

Alex made the solution fun. That was the most refreshing splash of water that has ever quenched my thirst!

It’s Your Choice

Everyday we have a choice...I don’t expect everyone to live in this vibration all the time—that’s not practical. However, being aware of all the intricate possibilities of compassion, will give us more openings to choose to be there more often.

What’s available to you now, is the possibility of touching somebody’s life in such a way that they feel the embrace of humanity.

Extending the Metaphor

I’ve been sharing my life experiences around visual impairment.  These intricacies of compassion can be generalized to any disabilities, and can be applied to anybody at all.

Be the person you needed when you were younger.What If a child is lost in a busy mall with no parents or guardians in sight?  We could inform security.  Or we could say have a quick conversation and check-in with the child.  If our perception was correct, then we could say, “Let’s go find them together…”

Perhaps an elderly person with mobility issues is looking for an elevator or ramp.  Don’t just give them directions.  Try, “Let’s go find it together…”

It’s not about the magical five words.  You’ll have to do some work by being present, understanding the context, and generating what works for you.

If somebody needs to eat at a vegetarian restaurant and is making an inquiry, it may sound a little creepy to say, “Let’s go find it together…”  Best case scenario, you’ll make a new friend.

BONUS: The Lessons Continue

I shared these intricacies of compassion with my friend, Jeanette.  She asserted that Alex’s words may have been incidental, because he needed water for himself, and he was just killing two birds with one stone. That could be, though it wouldn’t take away from his compassion.

If you have the power to make someone happy, do it. The world needs more of that.When we did find the water fountain, I noticed it first. That may not have happened if Alex was just “helping me”. I got a great sense of empowerment by finding the water fountain with Alex.

Before I started drinking the water, Alex asked, “Are you OK to get back on your own?”

I knew then that Alex didn’t need any water. But more importantly, Alex wasn’t being a caretaker: There was a great dance he was missing, and he valued his dance time as much as he understood that I probably had the capacity to make it back to the dancefloor on my own.

The Ripple Effect

Words can last forever!Alex’s five words made such an impact, that it spawned several conversations around this subject of compassion and inclusion.

His words also birthed this article, which you are now reading. You now have the opportunity to continue this ripple of compassion into your own circles of influence.

Oh, How Easy Can It Be!

Transforming Corporate Culture – 21 Ideas about Accessibility that Can Change the WorldWith an inclusive atmosphere like the Contact Improvisation Community, it’s easy for someone to ask for assistance. In the outside world, I hope you now understand how hard it can be.

Now, realize that’s life is not binary, but rather a spectrum of possibilities. Everything in between happens. Where in the spectrum will you play?

In contrast to many corporate cultures, inclusion isn’t about meeting arbitrary accessibility standards. Rather, it is about taking a sincere interest by creating a personal connection with a human being—honoring needs, preferences, and requests.  (Honoring doesn’t necessarily mean accepting.)

Go take a field trip and exercise your depths of compassion.

May We Have This Dance?

Answer through dance.

Alex facilities a monthly dance jam called Chemistry in Motion. You are welcome to join the both of us at our next event to experience contact improvisational dance, and the energy of an inclusive community.

Let’s love the world together…

[)anish /|hmed, blind visionary

P.S. Isn’t it note-worthy to notice that “Let’s go find it together…” has a similar linguistic structure as my motto, “Let’s love the world together…”?

More Mouth-Watering Cocktails to Quench Your Humanitarian Thirst:
Helping People in Difficult Situations
Making Difficult Conversations Easy
Helping People with Disabilities {everybody}
Dance is Personal Development