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Is it possible to be charismatic in a wheelchair?

Rating: 2 votes, 3.50 average.
Quote Originally Posted by Oddity View Post
I believe it's absolutely possible.

Humans seem to have an instinct driving their ability to be attracted/respect/admire and/or willingness to follow another person. Assuming these are satisfactory definitions of the tangible effects charisma (as opposed to comeliness, or raw physical attraction.)

I was first exposed to this idea by Joseph Campbell in The Power of Myth, followed by Hero with a Thousand Faces. Compelling works.

Powerfully charismatic people tend to share several specific traits. Wheelchair users have an opportunity to embodied most, if not all of them. Starting with the reluctant nature of the predicament they are in. Culminating in their "rising above" it. With several stages in between, to be sure, resulting in profound perceptions of the chair user in the minds of people around them.

I have a long paper, somewhere around here, I wrote analogizing the experience of disability with Campbell's archetypal "hero myth". They strongly parallel each other, IMO. We (instinctively) recognize people on this journey and reward them (equally instinctively) with a deep admiration/respect/attractiveness...or in your term: As being highly charismatic.

Much in the same way we instinctively respect the person on/having completed the "rags to riches" journey more than the "born with a silver spoon" narrative.

So, YES!!! It is not automatic but it IS possible!
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  1. JakeHalsted's Avatar
    What we want from our communities is RESPECT not PITY! For me the best thing I can do in any crowd is make fun of myself, as well as how other people react to me.

    Here's two perfect examples:
    1. I'm at work...there's somebody that obviously wants to go home, he's finished what he's working on...not so fast buddy Park the chair on an adjacent angle to his cube so he has to push you out of the way to leave " and so, if you orient the 8 antenna at a perpendiculuar....oh what, did you want to LEAVE?" HAHAHAHAHA

    2. There is typically only ONE handicapped restroom stall where I work. Inevitably there's some corporate clown babbling on the cell phone, defecating on company time. Bringing this up makes those silly AB's look at themselves in a mirror. If I can do a bowel program, why can't they ? nimrods...

    In short, if I abandon the pity factor, lighten the mood, tell the stories about drunk women I just meet for the first time asking me "can you still have sex? here's my #..."

    I humanize myself. That's the best I can do right now
  2. Oddity's Avatar
    Thanks for the comment. Jake. I didn't realize I marked this post as a 'blog' entry! Ooops. I agree with you, pity is not to be sought, nor is it the goal! My post was intended to describe the instinctive respect humans display toward those among them that over come adversity. And, tying it back to where I got that notion from, Joseph Campbell. There are many parallels between his "Hero Myth"/"Cycle", and the road of disability. Well, with the road of Life, most basically, but even more specifically with disability.
  3. pfcs49's Avatar
    Yes! I just stumbled on your Campbell comment. Back around 85, when I was sober a year or so, I found The Power of Myth as well as A Gathering o f Men with Robert Bly and Bill Moyers.
    They both rocked my boat severely and influenced my arc.
    Grateful to have people like them in my universe!