So, some time ago, I went on a field trip with my school to Dialogue in the Dark and the Bodies Exhibit. I believe that Bodies is more well-known, but if you don't know what it is, click here. It was cool and all, kinda creepy, but it didn't have much impact on me. I can honestly say that I will never forget Dialogue in the Dark though.
Dialogue in the Dark was amazing. Basically, you're put into a group of about nine people, you get canes, then you go into a room with glowing chair things. Then, the glow slowly fades and you're left in total darkness. Like, I-can't-see-my-hand-in-front-of-my-face total darkness. I was completely freaked out before the lights went dim, but once it was dark, I was completely calm. I actually started laughing. After a few seconds in complete darkness, you hear a voice. It's the voice of the person who will lead you through the different levels. Your guide is either mostly or completely blind. You don't get to see them until the end.
There are five levels, normal, everyday places. A park, a food market, a city, a boat, and a cafe. Your guide will ask you questions throughout the experience. They may ask you to find or identify something, or to help the person behind you. You are constantly encouraged to speak up; call out someone's name, announce when you've found something, speaking is what makes this experience successful. Once you and your group make it to the cafe, everyone sits down and you have the chance to ask your guide any questions you may have (and yes, it's still dark). You can literally ask them anything, how they became blind, how they feel about it, anything.
After the group discussion, you exit and get to finally see your guide. This was my favorite part. After being with someone for 45 minutes, relying on them to guide you, then learning about there life, you form an image of them in your mind. When you get to see them, they probably won't look like you had them imagined. But you don't care at all, you just know them based on their personality and character.
You get to meet and know and trust someone without even having the opportunity to judge them based on how they look. That was truly amazing to me. It made me realize how quickly and harshly we humans judge each other based solely on our outward appearance. I really we wish we could meet every person we come in contact with in the dark, then we could really get to know them without judgement getting in the way.
Click here to go to the Dialogue in the Dark website.