Harvard Grad Says We Should Walk By Faith And Not By Sight


By Tiffany Karieb

Yes, as in 2 Corinthians 5:7.

Let me begin by saying I love a good Ted talk. If it weren’t for this organization that shares dynamic, instrumental and influential ideas I wouldn’t have access to people like Isaac Lidsky amongst many other great thinkers.

To be clear Mr. Lidsky did not quote any scriptures during his talk, however as I listened to him that very verse kept going through my head. I encourage you to watch his “talk” for yourself, but if you can’t at the moment keep reading if you’d like to know what this brilliant man said.

Mr. Lidsky began his talk by telling a story of a little girl who was fascinated by her goldfish. He shared how she learned about their locomotion from her father and how they move forward and backward through life. He then pointed out how too many of us are swimming backwards.

Fast-forward to the fun stuff, Isaac challenged his audience to figure out which of five facts about him were false: Which fact do you think is false?


  • He graduated from Harvard at age 19 with a degree in Mathematics (the title is a dead give away).
  • He starred on a TV sitcom.
  • He served as a law clerk to two U.S. Supreme Court justices.
  • He runs a construction company in Florida.
  • He lost his eyesight due to a rear disease.


Fear is a great manipulator; it causes us to do destructible things like:

  • Make assumptions and jump to conclusions.
  • Strain for unachievable perfection.
  • Brainwash ourselves about what we can and cannot do.

If you haven’t caught on to the hint by now, Isaac is in fact blind. He lost his sight to Retinitis Pigmentosa and he feels blessed about it. Yes, blessed! 

Here’s another truth, Mr. Lidsky indeed accomplished everything on the fact list. Including being a star on this sitcom! That's him with a head full of curly hair.


What I gathered from Isaac's talk is that we shouldn’t allow what we see and feel to control our movements in life.

In a matter of seconds what we saw few moments ago could change. Feelings change too. It’s all so flaky it isn’t worth relying on 100%.

Think of yourself walking in a peaceful park, with a few passerby’s along the way. You hear something fumbling around in the bushes next to you and see the bush moving rigorously from left to right, you’re alarmed. You’re heart is pounding so you move away from it as fast as you can.

Almost immediately a cute puppy pops out with a toy and runs toward his owners who were sitting a few feet away. He was just as alarmed by your presence as you were of his. This story catches the elements of fear, the unknown and awareness. That’s how life works.

You fear what you don’t know and react to the fear. Sometimes we don’t even know what we’re scared of, other times we realize we were afraid for no reason at all. Your reality can change if you want it to but you must tackle fear.

Fear is a distraction that paralyzes us. It hinders us from doing what we need to do, what we ought to do. It’s why so many people remain in the wrong relationships, careers, and colleges that they know they have no business in. It replaces the unknown with awful.

Think of racism and stereotyping. It continues to thrive despite time and access to information. Because "racism is an emotional commitment to ignorance," a statement popularized by Jane Elliot, to some racists anything outside of being white is awful, especially if it’s the opposite of white. It’s where one group or individual created an awful reality of another. Today we have learned that racism stems not only from ignorance but also from fear.


Many studies have already proven that our perception is affected by our feelings. On the other hand, what we see also affects how we feel. Did you know that a landmark appears farther when you are wearing a heavy backpack? In our heads the backpack weighs us down, creates stress forcing us to put more effort into getting where we need to go. It makes getting to the landmark more challenging.

As Isaac stated, what we see is our own “unique, personal and virtual reality.” In layman terms, many of us may have our eyeballs fixed on the same object but perceive the object differently.

Isaac feared going blind would end his hopes of being independent, finding love and of course demolishing his chance to succeed.

And I don’t blame him, who would want to be born with sight only to lose it one day at a time. His life could’ve turned out the way he feared, many people in his position very well end up dependent and alone. Thankfully though, he fought his way out of his blind tunnel of fears in order to live with his eyes wide open and so can you. Turns out losing his sight opened his vision.

Mr. Lidsky proclaims that Living with Your Eyes Wide Open or how I prefer to say it, walking by faith is a discipline that can be taught and practiced. Here’s how:

  1. Hold yourself accountable for every thought, every moment, and every detail.
  2. Silence your internal critic.
  3. Recognize your assumptions.
  4. See beyond your fears.
  5. Correct your misconceptions about luck and success.
  6. Accept your strengths and weaknesses, then understand the difference.
  7. Harness your internal strengths.

Our fears are stories that our brains created that block our vision. Chose to let them go. Chose to build a blessed life. Here are some words to meditate on while working on your vision:

  • 2 Corinthians 5:7 – For we live by faith, not by sight. Why? Because we cannot trust what we see.
  • James 1:6 – When we ask, we must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. You can want something in life and stop going after it because your backpack got too heavy.
  • II Timothy 1:7 – For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
  • “The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.” Helen Keller

Originally published on blogwithtk.com. Keep up with Tiffany Karieb by following her on Instagram, @blogwithtk or on twitter, @blogwithtk_.