How Lack of Vision Can Lead to Human Peril


Andrea Campbell

11/1/20237 min read

flock of yellow bird flyingflock of yellow bird flying
The Price of Progress

In a bustling city like Chicago, life moves at a rapid pace. Skyscrapers pierce the skyline, reflecting the city's advancement. Chicago, the third largest city in the United States, is regarded as the birthplace of the skyscraper. In fact, Willis Tower (formerly known as Sears Tower) in Chicago was the tallest building in the world from 1974 until 1998. Yet, amid this urban jungle, a tragic incident recently reminded us of a peril that often goes unnoticed – the dangers of being unable to see where we are going. Over 1,000 birds lost their lives when they collided with a single building, all because the structure's glass façade rendered them blind to the impending danger.

The story of the birds that met their untimely demise is heart-wrenching. They met their end due to a seemingly innocent feature of modern architecture – glass buildings. The transparent glass, reflecting the sky and surroundings, proved to be a fatal attraction for these birds, who could not distinguish the clear glass from the open skies. They flew into the buildings at full speed, leading to deadly collisions that claimed their lives.

The Human Experience

This tragic event serves as a poignant metaphor for the dangers humans face when they lack vision and how this can lead to devastating consequences. While it is sad to witness such a catastrophe in the avian world, it also allows us to reflect on the parallels that exist in our lives. The incident serves as a solemn reminder of the dangers of blindness, both literal and metaphorical. Just as these birds lost their lives due to a lack of vision, humans can face dire consequences when they cannot see where they are going.

While humans possess the gift of sight, we often find ourselves in situations where our vision becomes clouded. The consequences of this lack of vision can be just as dire as what the birds experienced. Lack of vision, whether literal or metaphorical, is problematic. A Literal Lack of Vision results in blindness. Whether due to congenital conditions, accidents, or diseases, individuals who lose their sight face a world filled with invisible obstacles. The absence of the ability to see makes simple tasks challenging, and navigating life becomes a constant struggle. People can also experience metaphorical blindness when they lack clarity in their goals, values, or direction in life. Without a clear vision for their future, they may stumble through life, making hasty decisions and failing to recognize the obstacles.

To avoid such pitfalls, we must cherish and cultivate a clear vision for our lives to help us navigate life's complexities with purpose and resilience. Developing a clear vision involves a range of strategies, including:

  • Setting clear goals - Just as a pilot needs a flight plan to navigate the skies, individuals need clear goals to navigate life. Setting specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals can provide direction and purpose.

  • Seeking guidance - Just as a navigator uses instruments to guide a ship, seek advice from mentors, coaches, or trusted friends who can provide valuable insights and help you see the path ahead.

  • Practicing mindfulness - Mindfulness meditation can help you become more aware of your thoughts, emotions, and surroundings. It can enhance your ability to see the world as it truly is and make informed decisions.

  • Remaining adaptable - Life is filled with unexpected twists and turns. Adaptability and a willingness to learn from your experiences can help you overcome obstacles and stay on course.

  • Regular Self-Reflection: Take time to reflect on your values, aspirations, and the path you are on. Self-reflection can help you gain clarity and adjust your course if necessary. Reflection is the compass that helps us maintain our vision. Taking time to assess our progress, change our course, and learn from our experiences is essential. It allows us to see where we may have veered off track and make the necessary corrections.

  • Visualization - Visualization is a powerful tool that can help us gain and maintain clarity in our lives. By vividly imagining our goals and the steps needed to achieve them, we can create a mental map that guides us through life's challenges.

  • Education - Education is another crucial aspect of maintaining vision. Just as a lighthouse guides ships safely to shore, education illuminates the path to knowledge and personal growth. It empowers us to see beyond our current circumstances and envision a brighter future. Lifelong learning keeps our vision sharp, ensuring we adapt and thrive in an ever-changing world.

While it is vital to maintain a clear vision, it's also essential to acknowledge that not all obstacles are avoidable. In life, as in nature, some challenges are beyond our control. However, we can face these challenges with courage and grace by cultivating resilience and adaptability.

A Blind Man’s Country

Life is filled with challenges and unexpected obstacles, and those who embrace blindness risk exposure that can cause damage and wreak havoc in our lives. If you abide literally or metaphorically in a place where those in charge lack vision, we will bear the consequences of their blindness.

We see physically with our eyes, but when we see with our hearts and minds, we create the most impact for ourselves and others. So, while our physical eyes are essential for us to function effectively in society, we see our dreams and aspirations in our minds, and this is the foundation for growth and fulfilment of purpose. When you dwell in a blind man’s country, you are exposed to dangers, stunted growth and mental and emotional struggles. The absence of purpose and direction can erode the mental well-being of individuals. This, in turn, can cause missed opportunities for learning and self-improvement and adversely impact relationships, leading to isolation and loneliness.

Personal and Professional Impact

The presence or absence of vision has a profound bearing on our personal and professional lives. Let’s explore:

i) Fulfillment - When we possess a clear vision, life takes on a deeper sense of purpose and fulfillment. Just as a hiker's path becomes more rewarding when they can see the path ahead, our journey through life becomes richer when we have a vision that inspires us. This vision acts as a guiding star, helping us make choices aligned with our values and aspirations.

ii) Overcoming Fear and Uncertainty - Life is filled with uncertainties, much like the unpredictable weather that can challenge a bird's flight. However, when we have a strong vision, we develop the courage to face these uncertainties head-on. Like an eagle soaring confidently through a storm, we can weather life's trials with resilience and determination.

iii) Vision in Leadership - Leadership, whether in a professional context or within our own families, is closely tied to vision. Effective leaders provide guidance and direction to those they lead. They lead from in front and provide good examples to others, whether it be their staff, family members or other people in the community. A leader's clear vision can inspire and motivate others, fostering collaboration and collective progress.

iv) Environmental Responsibility - The bird collision incident in Chicago also raises awareness about our impact on the environment. Just as the glass buildings posed a danger to the birds, our actions can have unintended consequences on the natural world. It reminds us of the importance of considering the long-term consequences of our choices and taking steps to protect the environment for future generations. We must clean up around us and avoid actions that damage marine life and the planet in general.

v) Empathy and Compassion – Through empathy, we have the ability to see the world through another person's eyes. When we cultivate a clear vision in our own lives, we are better equipped to understand the perspectives and needs of others. This empathy fosters compassion, allowing us to offer support and assistance to those facing their own challenges.

vi) Collective Vision - Just as the birds in the Chicago incident followed one another into danger, humans too can be influenced by collective beliefs and actions. It underscores the importance of nurturing a shared vision that promotes harmony, cooperation, and progress in our communities and societies. And though we follow our leaders, we must embrace and respect our individuality and remember that we are responsible for our own lives and that of others who depend on us. Do not follow anyone blindly.

vii) Lifelong Learning - Maintaining a clear vision is not a one-time achievement but a lifelong journey. It requires ongoing self-reflection, adaptability, and a willingness to learn from successes and failures. As the landscape of life changes, so too must our vision evolve to meet new challenges and opportunities. We are in an era of rapid change, and if we fail to become involved and learn, we will be left behind.


Like a bird caught in a storm, we may be tossed about by adversity. However, it is during these challenging times that our resilience and determination genuinely shine. And just as a bird eventually finds its way to safety, we too can navigate adversity and emerge stronger on the other side. The tragic fate of the birds in Chicago highlights the importance of community and support systems. Just as birds often travel in flocks, humans, too, find strength in numbers. Building solid and supportive relationships with family, friends, and mentors can help us build resilience in the face of adversity and see through the haze of uncertainty. They can offer guidance and encouragement when we encounter obstacles.

In our fast-paced world, it is easy to become distracted, lost, or overwhelmed. However, by cultivating a clear vision for our lives, setting goals, seeking guidance, and remaining adaptable, we can navigate the complexities of life with purpose and resilience.

As we traverse life's ever-changing terrain, let us draw inspiration from these lessons. Commit to cultivating and maintaining a clear vision, one that guides us through challenges, connects with others, and empowers us to leave a positive impact. Like the birds, let us avoid losing ourselves in life's distractions and challenges, and, instead, soar to new heights with vision as our compass and resilience as our wings.

Let us remember that just as the birds are lost in the reflection of glass buildings, we can lose ourselves in the distractions and challenges of life. However, with vision as our compass and resilience as our wings, we can soar to new heights, making our journey through life not just safe but truly meaningful and fulfilling.

In the end, the lesson from this avian tragedy is clear: vision is not just a physical ability; it is a guiding force in our lives. It enables us to navigate obstacles and spot opportunities, to set our course, and to reach our destination. Let us use the occurrence of the avian tragedy in Chicago to ensure that we, too, can always see where we are going in life.