By Larry Tomczak, published on Tennessean, Nov. 11, 2021
"The only thing worse than having no sight is having no vision." — Helen Keller
Recently, when my wife Doris and I had the privilege to attend a private screening of the film "Sight" with our dear friend Ming Wang — a Harvard and MIT-educated M.D. and Ph.D., a world-class laser eye surgeon and philanthropist —, we were really moved and impacted by the film. It is a powerful first-class movie.
"Sight" is based on Ming’s autobiography “From Darkness to Sight” and co-stars Greg Kinnear. It chronicles his incredible journey from China to America, including his struggles with poverty and racial discrimination, and his pursuit to become a world-renowned eye surgeon who developed a new technology that has restored sight to millions.
The film’s message of hope, perseverance and appreciation is what America needs today.
Over the years, Ming has been most passionate about finding common ground for all of us as Americans. Our nation is hyperpolarized today as we are increasingly focused on our differences, rather than appreciating all that we have in common. Our government is gridlocked and our country is weakened by the polarization and division.
Our need: A clear vision
Dr Ming Wang delivers the commencement address at Stewart County High School's Class of 2019 graduation ceremony on Sunday, May 19, 2019.
We need to have clear vision for our nation. Ming says, "COVID has revealed an even bigger virus in us and that is the virus of polarization, and the vaccine against that virus of polarization, is to find common ground!"
The film "Sight" shows that no matter what our ethnic background, race or religion, as human beings we all have much in common: our love for our family, our desire to see our children happy and successful and our need for peace in perilous times.
I have known Ming for 15 years. I first came to him with the loss of sight in my left eye, and since then, he has been my eye doctor, has performed my eye surgeries and has taken great care of my eyes.
We have become close friends over the years. I have supported his sight foundation which has helped patients from all over the world while he has also supported my ministry.
After I watched the film "Sight," I realized that all of us as Americans need to see this film. We are living in a wonderful country, with freedom and liberty that God has blessed us with.
But as Ming always says, "The people who appreciate sight are those who used to be blind."
Ming used to not have freedom before he came to America, so he greatly appreciates the freedom that we have. However, for people born in this country who always have had freedom, multitudes have taken it for granted.
(Editor's note: "Sight" is in post-production and is scheduled to be released publicly in 2022).
Time to take inventory
Mr. Charlie Daniels, Tennessee’s first 3D laser-assisted cataract surgery patient, and Dr. Ming Wang, director of Wang Vision 3D Cataract & LASIK Center.
Sight reminds us that we need to greatly appreciate what we have in America, because people in so many parts of the world today still don’t have it. We really need to pause and do some humble reflection.
Ming has gone through a lot, such as, poverty, dictatorship, and racial discrimination, but he persevered and never gave up hope. He has shown through his life that just because one is discriminated against does not mean that one is doomed to fail The difference between considering oneself to be a victim or a victor, is determined by how one views and perseveres through discrimination and then what one does with one’s own life.
I have taken on the task recently to help Ming promote his film "Sight" by looking for and identifying organizations that may be interested in his movie as a tool for “Appreciating freedom in America by finding common ground," through in-person or Zoom showings.
I believe that young and old will benefit much in listening to Ming and watching the film "Sight."
We will be reminded once again of God’s blessing upon all of us as Americans today, irrespective of our race, ethnicity, religion or nation of origin.
Such a renewed appreciation will give us the inspiration, in a hyperpolarized and divided nation today, to overcome our polarization and find the common ground: our love for God and our love for this country.
Thank you. You’ll be glad you did.
Larry Tomczak is an internationally known cultural commentator and author of ten books, one of which was a quarter-million bestseller. He resides in Franklin, Tennessee.