Everyone Has a Disability of Some Sort

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Reading-- Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen and The Secret of the Old Clock by Carolyn Keene
Listening to-- nothing

I don't know why, but this year it's been hard to settle on a topic for Blogging Against Disablism Day (B.A.D.D.), which is tomorrow May 1st. While last year I was so sure of my topic days in advance of the event, this year I've changed my mind so many times I feel like I'm in a mental maelstrom of words or ideas! I have several good ideas, but a few require a lengthier deadline than tomorrow's, so I've put them aside for later. So that leaves only two or three left, and the task now is deciding what is uppermost in my mind. And that isn't easy, as they are equally weighty. I think... *pauses to sort through thoughts* ...I think I have settled on a topic now, but to quiet the maelstrom completely each idea will need to be voiced, and soon.

I do a meme sometimes on Saturdays that I created myself. I love quotes and themes, so I called it Saturday Sayings with the purpose of collecting seven quotations sharing the same category or theme. If one stands out more than the others, I highlight it and write about it; if not I just share a few remarks about my chosen theme as a whole. About two years ago the theme for this meme was on attitudes towards disabilities or disablism. I'd like to revisit that entry from my old blog, sharing a few of my favorite quotes from it, adding several new ones and briefly discuss my thoughts on them.

Here are the three I like best from that particular meme:

  • "One always overcompensates for disabilities. I'm thinking of having my entire body surgically removed."
    ~Douglas Adams~

  • "The only disability in life is a bad attitude."
    ~Scott Hamilton~

  • Placing one foot in front of the other, I've climbed to higher
        Reaching beyond my own limitations, to show my inner
        No obstacle too hard for this warrior to overcome.
        I'm just a man on a mission, to prove my disability hasn't

    ~Robert M. Hensel, Beyond Limitations~

    And here are four new ones:

  • "Congress acknowledged that society's accumulated myths and fears about disability and disease are as handicapping as are the physical limitations that flow from actual impairment."
    ~William J. Brennan, Jr.~

  • "We all have a disability of some kind; all are lacking in one way or another. Saul has an injury to his leg. What if his personality was deformed? How much worse if his soul was lame? Preachers or teachers look for the good in all of us. (Bless them for doing so.) I don't see a cripple. I haven't met anyone yet who isn't handicapped in some way. So what's the big deal? Don't hide your deformity. Wear it like a Purple Heart."
    ~Georgiann Baldino~

  • "People get so caught up in trying to fix the person that they don't see the great diversity and benefits that the person has to bring to the rest of the world."
    ~Alison Seylor~

  • "Not only do physically disabled people have experiences which are not available to the able-bodied, they are in a better position to transcend cultural mythologies about the body, because they cannot do things the able-bodied feel they must do in order to be happy, "normal," and sane... If disabled people were truly heard, an explosion of knowledge of the human body and psyche would take place."
    ~Susan Wendell, The Rejected Body: Feminist Philosophical Reflections on Disability~

    I like these quotes a lot, and I agree with them all...to one degree or another. But the one that I agree with the most is by Georgiann Baldino.

    I'm of the mind that everyone has a disability of some sort; some just don't show theirs is all. Or, they do in their weaknesses or character flaws or fears, but they're not universally viewed as such. I sometimes wonder what people would say or do if I shared my opinion with them. According to the dictionary, disability is defined as:

    1) a. The condition of being disabled; incapacity.
        b. The period of such a condition: never received a penny during her disability.

    2) A disadvantage or deficiency, especially a physical or mental impairment that interferes with or prevents normal achievement in a particular area.

    3) Something that hinders or incapacitates.

    4) Law A legal incapacity or disqualification.

    3) Something that hinders or incapacitates. In some way or other this applies to everyone! Doesn't it? Yet those of us with physical challenges, cognitive impairments and mental health issues are the ones labeled as disabled. The ones who are visibly different than "the norm." But what about those with severe depression or severe phobias like agoraphobia (the fear of being among crowds of people) or acrophobia (the fear of heights)? Aren't these--or can't these--be just as disabling as C.P., M.S., C.F., etc.? I just find it equally amusing and irritating that many able-bodied people think they're superior because they don't have a (visible) disability, and how they do their best to either avoid us or help us "poor souls" in what they think is a charitable act. Yes, indeed, I wonder what they would say or do if they knew I view them as having a disability, too, of some sort. Even if it's only narrow-mindedness.

    Blogging Against Disablism Day, May 1st 2008

    The Written Past
    11-30-2015 November's Gratitude List
    12-14-2015 CANDY CANE I and CANDY CANE II
    12-15-2015 Other Side Ponderings
    12-31-2015 December's Gratitude List
    01-31-2016 January's Gratitude List