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3 Reasons Being Colour Blind Can Be Amazing

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When you think of colour blindness you’re probably thinking that people with this condition only see black, white and shades of gray.

Sounds depressing, doesn’t it? If you’ve read my previous colour blindness essay, you’ll see this is definitely not the case. In fact, there are times when I consider myself fortunate to be protanopic.

Here are three reasons why.

1. When I look at the forest I see fall colors all of the time.

Do you like traveling the temperate areas of the world in September and October, when the deciduous trees gradually change from green to yellow, red and various shades of orange (or they used to, back when I was younger)? Doesn’t it look spectacular? Now imagine if you could see this all year round. To me, anything green is a brilliant, bright shade of orange, including tree leaves to the grass on the lawn. Furthermore, the trees aren’t just one shade of orange in my eyes, I see as many different shades of orange as most people see shades of green. Maple leaves are a rather bright orange, pine needles are a darker shade and balsam fir looks dark orange, bordering on red, making a strong contrast between the blue of the water. Needless to say, spring is one of the most beautiful times of the year for me, perhaps it’s also why I am generally happy.

2. I have excellent night vision.

This has come in handy many times over the years in situations ranging from routine nighttime driving to finding my way out of a trail at night (that hike took a little longer than expected!) Unless it is very dark or an overcast night, I can see almost as well as I can see during the day. In fact, sometimes I can see better when I don’t use a flashlight at night than when I do use one. The flashlight only lights up a narrow area directly in front of me for a limited range and destroys my night vision. But when I am walking without the light, I can take advantage of my strong night vision and see all around my head.

3. It can make for quite amusing moments.

I truly do see the world in a different light which can be a lot of fun, both good and bad. Some of the comments that have popped up over the years often resulting in copious laughter, include, but are not limited to:

“I can’t find the green hat.” (Some days that same hat becomes a brown or orange hat.)

“Man, can’t you come up with some color other than gray for these quiz papers?” (those papers were actually pink.)

“Did I seriously mark these in black instead of red? Oops.” (self-explanatory!)

“Can you please tell me whether this wire is the same as the one on the other side?” (when wiring up electronics.)

“Am I in the channel or not?” (faded green and faded red channel marker buoys look nearly identical to me.)

“What a nice light blue shirt you’re wearing.” (the shirt was slightly pink.)

So you see while color blindness comes with definite disadvantages, it’s got a few pluses too. You just need to know how to spot them and how to use them to your advantage.

Photo credit: puflic_senior/Getty Images

Originally published: July 25, 2018
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