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Pity Factor Makes Me Cringe

I just finished reading a blog that was reblogged by a good friend of mine. I was supposed to be moved at the beauty behind the blog but to me it read like a cliché. It had the feel of a chain letter to it. I guess it’s the cynic in me that is winning instead of the optimistic, cheery feel good lady.

Maybe it was the fact that it featured a blind boy in it sitting on a step with a hat and a sign stating the obvious “I am blind, please help”.  A kind stranger stops puts a few coins in the hat and changes the sign. After this kind stranger leaves, the hat begins to fill up with change. The stranger returns later in the afternoon. The boy recognizes the stranger’s footsteps and asks what the stranger wrote to find out that he had written  “Today is a beautiful day but I can not see it.”

The cynic in me is screaming: firstly most blind people who I know don’t go begging. They might be buskers but they don’t beg. Most blind beggars aren’t really blind. True blind people want to be paid for their talent not because they can’t see. Secondly, why would the boy let this person take his sign without querying about what the stranger was doing. I can’t suspend my disbelief that this boy would recognize the strangers footsteps. Contrary to the misconception that blind people’s hearing are acutely better than sighted people, it is not true. Just think about all the people you are introduced to and you can see their face but you may not recall their name. It’s exactly like that for a blind person who hears things because they might be introduced to people but if they have only spoken to them a few times and a person comes up and say hello remember me? Do you honestly think they are going to respond oh yes you are Dick. No, I don’t think so!

I get so tired and sick of people taking pity on people with disabilities. I even get angry with Agencies for the disabled that are trying to target the able-bodied to feel pity for the other people who are disabled because they want money. Instead of showing how funding the agency helps the person with disability, they try to play the pity card which is usually an utter failure to me because it just gets my ire up. The recent campaign that Guide Dogs NSW paid for didn’t make any sense to me, but they were trying to use the pity card to the sighted people. I can think  of a few different ways they could show how they help but showing a man with his guide dog walking down the street after a guy gets on the bus just doesn’t cut it with me. I even showed the advert to my sister in the states and she couldn’t get it.

People who are blind want to be treated equally just like people who are deaf, or confined to a wheelchair. People who are disabled who have something that isn’t so apparent want to be treated equally too. We all desire to be valued not pitied. People who have a disability are just as capable as any able-bodied person. They have to do things different ways and can even teach able-bodied persons valuable lessons if they are willing to be open to learning a different way.

Maybe I am too sensitive to the blind because I have good friends and loved ones who are blind. I just wish we could think outside the box at times when we are trying to give a moral story or trying to open our eyes to injustices in the world. I know that was the true meaning of the story that was reblogged but it really got me fired up and not in the best ways.


Walking In My Shoes

Depeche Mode is in my top 10 of groups that I love. This song is a great reminder to me not to cast stones or be too judgemental. I have been wanting to do this post on this song for a while now. I suppose the catalyst that made me do this was finding out about one of my aunts dying yesterday.

Aunt Dolly had lived a long life. She would have been 92. She grew up and stayed in Acadiana for her entire life. Acadiana is  a region in southwestern Louisiana. She was a loving mother and sister. She was from a large family herself and had a large family.

Her childhood wasn’t easy which is why I think she had such a tough exterior. Inside though she was very kind. She was an awesome cook. If she knew I was coming to visit, she would always have a pot of chicken and sausage gumbo ready because she knew it was my fave thing that she made.

My husband listens to lots of podcasts. This morning he shared this link with me about Marlon Noble. His story is only one that is often repeated in Australia and perhaps even through out the world. He was jailed for something that he did not do for 10 years. He has an intellectual disability and was released last year but he is still under supervision.

I know that these two people aren’t similar but just think what the world would be like if we tried walking in other’s shoes. There could be a lot more understanding and tolerance. I wanted to use this song to not only help myself but to raise awareness of others. I can act hastily about others but if I were to walk in someone else’s shoes, I’d probably stumble or not be able to accomplish what they have accomplished.