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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.

 

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