Eric Ngondi: I lost eyesight, but not my vision

“The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.” – Hellen Keller.

What is your mindset when you feel like all hope is lost? How do you view life when walls start closing in? No matter what the circumstance or future seems to be dictating, your mindset will determine whether you move on or regress.

If you meet Eric Ngondi, you will be struck by his positive attitude despite everything he has been through. He lost both eyes in two completely unrelated incidents, with the second incident leaving him completely blind.

The first incident occurred while hiking with friends in Ngong Hills when armed men attacked them.

Eric got away, but then he looked back and saw that one of his friends had been captured; he couldn’t continue running.

This gesture saved his friend, but it cost him greatly. He was hit on the head, and somehow, the rod gouged his entire eye out, and his eyeball was hanging from its socket by a thread.

The sight of his wrecked eye stunned even his assailants, so much so that they let them go. A police statement and a hospital visit later, Eric’s eye was deemed unsalvageable.

Still, in a seemingly improbable and impossibly unfair stroke by fate, he lost his other eye in a similar but unrelated incident two years later.

 “We were travelling home from Namanga with my dad when, at about 10 pm, we heard a loud bang, and when we got out of the vehicle to check, there thugs emerged from the bushes and attacked us.”

One of them swung a sharp object at him, which sliced right through his right eye.

A few minutes later, police arrived, possibly notified by a passerby, and took them to Kajiado Hospital. Unfortunately, the eye was so damaged that there was nothing they could do about it.

 “That was when I started descending into a state of hopelessness. How would I live a full life anymore?” he says.

Controlling one’s emotions and thoughts in difficult times can be challenging, but we can choose how to respond.

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s way,” -Victor Frankl.

Directed to the Kenya Society for the Blind, he discovered a community of thriving individuals who lived ordinary lives despite their blindness. Seeing this gave him the determination to embrace his new reality.

With a positive mindset, he began to believe in his ability to lead a fulfilling life again. He saw that despite his disability, he could still achieve great things and approached life with renewed determination and optimism.

It is important to note that a lack of a positive mindset in facing challenges can lead to mental health conditions because you become hopeless and helpless, life becomes gloomy, and eventually, that leads to depression and even suicide.

You may have found yourself in a situation that makes you think, ‘How can I ever live in a situation like this?’

How, indeed? It is about embracing optimism and an attitude of gratitude. ‘I may not afford to drive my car, but I don’t have cancer.’ That’s an attitude of gratitude that helps with a positive mindset and will keep you moving.

Key lessons from Eric Ngondi’s story

A positive mindset comes from a positive outlook on life. It is a growth mindset because, without one, one regresses. When one approaches life with a positive mindset, there is always light at the end of the tunnel.

It starts with self-positivity. You have to be you to make it work.

Story Courtesy: The Standard