J. Keith Hughey


Volume XX, Number 37 (Issue 989) September 12, 2022


If you are a passing fan of movies or TV shows set in the old west, pioneer times, or New York’s Central Park, you probably can recall dozens of scenes where there was a wagon, a buggy, a plow, or even a carriage being pulled by a horse – maybe a pair of horses or mules. Zoom in on the animal in almost any one of those scenes and you may notice the bridle sporting a set of small, usually rectangular flaps at the animal’s eye level. The purpose of those flaps, or “blinders” as they are called, is to prevent the animal from using its peripheral vision to look anywhere but straight ahead. In short, no distractions from the prescribed route. In practice, blinders have proven extremely effective, particularly if the animal is skittish in any way. 

Today, blinders continue to be used in some circumstances, although the modern versions, especially those meant for racehorses, are of a very different, incredibly aerodynamic design. I bring this up because some of the people you and I know walk around with blinders on too – albeit they’re invisible to the naked eye. Still, one can easily recognize their presence not to mention their impact. All you need to do is pay attention. That way, when you see someone applying the same old, worn, solutions to problems even though those remedies stopped working long ago, you know they’re wearing blinders. And like those draft animals in the movies, they are fixated to the point of lacking any other perspective. 

If you or someone you know is blinder-bound, at this point you should be asking “How do we break the pattern?” The obvious answer is remove the blinders. Only that’s easier said than done – particularly when you’ve become accustomed to wearing them. Thus, the answer is, in the words of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire,” phone-a-friend. Specifically, set your pride aside and ask for help. Not just any help will do, of course. What you need is a fresh set of eyes. More to the point, you need the eyes of someone who has the knowledge, experience, and objectivity to deliver a different perspective. It is the alternative perspective that can make the difference between success and frustration in many situations. The choice is yours. Just remember that pride goes before a fall. 

Soli Deo Gloria 

“And I will lead the blind in a way that they do not know, in paths that they have not known 

I will guide them. I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground. These are the things I do, and I do not forsake them.” Isaiah 42:16 

Keith Hughey

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Copyright 2022 by J. Keith Hughey. All rights reserved. Permission is hereby granted for reproduction and redistribution of this essay as provided under the copyright laws of the United States of America. The entire early library of Monday Morning Musings issues may be found at Your comments are welcome and encouraged.

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