I blame myself for my son’s color blindness

The Yomiuri ShimbunDear Troubleshooter:

I’m a housewife in my 60s. I feel responsible for my son’s color blindness.

Since he was very young, he has been interested in working in the railway industry. He studied very hard at a vocational school in the field and became a top student.

However, when he takes an examination for train drivers and conductors, he always reaches the final interview but fails because of the color vision test in the physical examination.

Once, he started working at a travel agency. However, he couldn’t give up on his dream. So he took an examination for train station staff because the application guideline did not mention a color vision test. Although he smoothly reached the final interview, he was shocked to learn a color vision test was required.

As my father was color blind, I inherited the genes. I’m very sorry my son can’t make his dream come true because of genes even though he works hard. Nevertheless, he says: “It’s not your fault, mother. It’s the fault of the companies’ systems.”

But I can’t stop feeling pity for my son.

A, Osaka Prefecture

Dear Ms. A:

You blame yourself for your son’s not being able to make his dream come true. I can understand how sad you feel. However, I think you are wrong to think you are responsible.

His color blindness stems from the genes he inherited from you, but that can’t be helped. Your son understands this quite well. Although he is very disappointed, he said, “It’s not your fault.” That is a great thing for him to say, and you should be proud of raising him to be such a person.

As you didn’t mention the result of the final interview for the station staff examination, I don’t know how seriously the company takes the result of the color vision test.

If he turns out to be unsuccessful, will he think he is being unfairly treated by the company and bear a grudge against it for a long time, or will he look for another place where he can actively participate while keeping his affection for railway trains? I hope you warmly see that he feels like choosing the latter.

We all have various problems. No matter how hard we try for something, it sometimes can never be materialized.

Nevertheless, I hope you will support him so that he can look forward and live positively by gratefully accepting what he is given without abandoning his hope. This may be a duty of you as a parent, who has more life experience than him.

Masami Ohinata, professor

(from Dec. 17, 2015, issue)Speech

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