Thursday, April 10, 2008

Vision Without Sight

My husband Ray, “used adversity to sharpen … vision for how … to invest in … life.” (Stanford-Blair & Dickman, 2005, pp. 34-35). Ray is blind. Born prematurely, concerned for lung development, pure oxygen use caused blindness, though he retained sight until 26 years old.

Ray “seized and created leadership opportunities” (Stanford-Blair & Dickman, 2005, p. 35), leading a productive life, making Eagle Scout, serving on student council, and when blind, was assistant scoutmaster. Following college, Ray taught until deteriorating eyesight hindered him. Ray “used early work experiences to refine and clarify [his] leadership purpose” (Stanford-Blair & Dickman, 2005, p. 35). Having completed rehab, Ray started work as a vocational rehabilitation counselor for Rhode Island. Retiring after 28 years, Ray wrote:

I hoped … individuals… could use me as a role model; since being blind, I could demonstrate … with training, the necessary accommodations, and …understanding … of an employer… if I could be … earning a living … being …productive … they …could do likewise. (Gauvin, 2008)

Ray leads at church having spearheaded the men’s group, chaired stewardship, etc. Ray “Defin[ed] and articulate[ed] [his] … calling by making the most of challenges,” (Stanford-Blair & Dickman, 2005, p. 35). Ray has led great changes in my life: moving to R. I., continuing school, and preparing for ministry, wanting to be a “future pastor’s spouse.” “We lead from the essence of who we are as a person” (Kouzes & Posner, 2003, p. 43) characterizes Ray’s leadership in church, work, and home.


(Gauvin R N 20080320 Retirement Letter)Gauvin, R. N. (2008, March 20). Retirement Letter.

(Kouzes J M Posner B Z 2003 Leadership Challenge)Kouzes, J. M., & Posner, B. Z. (2003). The Leadership Challenge (3rd ed.). San
: Jossey-Bass.

(Stanford-Blair N Dickman M H 2005 Leading Coherently: Reflections From Leaders Around the World)Stanford-Blair, N., & Dickman, M. H. (2005). Leading Coherently: Reflections From
Leaders Around the World
. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

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