In this, his fifth blog written exclusively for Starkey, Justin Osmond — who was born with a severe-to-profound hearing loss and has been wearing hearing aids since he was 2 years old — explains how choosing to wear hearing aids has made a profound difference in his life.
I love the Sanskrit maxim, “For yesterday is but a dream and tomorrow is only a vision, but today well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness and every tomorrow a vision of hope.”
We all need to live life to its fullest. And even when the world yells ‘Give up,’ deep down inside, there’s a ray of hope that whispers ‘Never Give up!’
I can’t tell you how many times in my life I’ve wanted to give up. I’ve been on the verge of despair and feeling as though I couldn’t take a single step further more often than I care to admit.. Many times, I have felt like a postage stamp where I get licked, depressed, stuck in a corner, and sent from place to place. But if I just stick to it, I know I’ll eventually arrive in the right place.
Don’t wait until it’s too late
A while back, I met an elderly lady in Latin America who was terminally ill and only had a few months left to live. She was depressed, stuck in a corner, lost her hearing and wishing for just a few more precious moments with her family and grandkids. I remember her dying wish was to ‘hear’ their angelic voices one more time. With the help and support of some local hearing professionals in her area, her heartfelt desire was answered with the gift of better hearing. It made my heart soar to know that she was reconnected with her family one more time before she was taken from this life.
I’ll never forget that life-changing experience and how it forever changed my perspective on the importance of being able to hear life’s precious sounds even if your time is short.
Today’s hearing aids are modern miracles
Having worn hearing devices my whole life, experience has taught me that our hearing loss shouldn’t define us, but rather refine us. By embracing our challenges and accepting ourselves for who we are, we have that choice to decide whether we’ll take advantage of the amenities, resources, technology and services that are provided to us.
I can fully understand and respect people not wanting to wear hearing aids back in the day because of the analog technology performing below par and not meeting our expectations. But today… it’s a whole new world and a completely different ball game when it comes to state-of-the-art technology and artificial intelligence. No more annoying feedback and ringing from our devices; hearing aids are now water resistant; and so much more to make our lives more convenient on so many levels.
Each one of us is too valuable to stay withdrawn
For those who keep putting off getting help for their hearing loss, I respect and appreciate whatever decision you make, especially when it comes to communication, whether it is verbal or sign language. But experience has also taught me that building walls inside ourselves isolates hearts from sharing joy or comfort.
Interacting with others may be painful sometimes, but withdrawal from humanity creates much worse pain. You are too valuable to be hidden away. If we share our ration of stones for building bridges instead of walls, then those who come along after us have the chance to use the bridge as a model to boost their self-worth and confidence, and overcome their personal fears and challenges.
Today, I look at all the amazing technology created for the deaf and hard-of-hearing community and I truly perceive these modern day hearing devices not only as a wonderful blessing, but also a miracle! Most people look at a miracle as something God has done that we have no control over. However, I see my ability to hear as a miracle created by God and implemented by the hard work, skill-set, talents and innovation of hard-working individuals who share their talents to make our world a better place to live.
Don’t let hearing loss limit or control you
We may have a hearing loss, but we shouldn’t let our hearing loss have us, own us, control us or define us. Instead, we should let it refine us, purge us, empower us and propel us forward.
You’re the only person who can do something about the kind of person you want to become. Think about what you’ve been given in life and what you do with it. Will you dare and try something you’ve always wanted to do? Would you dare to try something new that could possibly bring enlightenment, understanding, connection, peace, comfort and even hope into your life?
In my opinion, don’t ever let your limitations keep you from going after the things you want in life. It doesn’t hurt to try something new and you’ll never know unless you give something a chance. It’s up to you! 😊
As for me, I’m so incredibly grateful for my parents and the hearing professionals and audiologists who never gave up on me even though I was a tough patient over the years. With out-of-this world advanced technology now available at our ear-tips, I’m grateful that I took full advantage of this beautiful gift of hearing.
And today, I can honestly say with all my ears… I can Hear Better... and Live Better!