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Thread: "People pity in others what they fear in themselves"

  1. #1

    "People pity in others what they fear in themselves"

    This is a quote from the great Aristotle and it really makes a lot of sense. After 32 years of SCI I've been trying to put together in a more meaningful way why certain people act so Patronizing or even rude and mad towards those with disabilities. This quote from Aristotle explains a lot. I absolutely loved Philosophy in College and did well with it. I'm seriously thinking about writing a book that relates Philosophy to Disability in hopes of people gaining a better understanding of acceptance, both those disabled and ones around them.

    This had really come to light especially recently with a lot of the experiences I've been through in the past. Recently I was at a Mercedes dealer to look at the new 2014 E class cars and they were very rude and were just trying to get me away from the car, like it was too good for me or something. The normal reaction of a salesperson is to try and chase you down and sell you a car, these people were just trying to chase me out the door. On the way out as I was going past the fancy center island where the receptionist sits, the salesman said "be careful don't hit that" I was very tempted to bash into it full speed with my wheelchair when he said that one. Anyhow, this is just one example of the many things I've seen which really told me people were very prejudice against me for being in a wheelchair.
    "Life is about how you
    respond to not only the
    challenges you're dealt but
    the challenges you seek...If
    you have no goals, no
    mountains to climb, your
    soul dies".~Liz Fordred

  2. #2
    Moderator jody's Avatar
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    guys an id.

    My roomie just came home in a Toyota sierra. it's a shortish minivan but it has leather seats, butt warmers, automatic doors, and a sun roof. feels like a lazyboy.......Its like driving your living room. eff that Mercedes dood.

  3. #3
    You've never been to a Mercedes showroom before Curt? I had an old diesel I used to work on and used to go downtown for parts. One day I walked into the showroom and tried to ask a few questions about the new diesels. Like you, I was quickly shown the door. No I was not in my greasies. Those people in the showroom have a nasty size up factor in them that the backroom boys do not.

    I hope you do write a book. You have a wealth of experiences and are a fine author.
    I have had periodic paralysis all my life. I lost my ability to walk in 2011 beginning with a spinal block, which was used for a hip fracture caused by periodic paralysis.

  4. #4
    Aren't we the lowest of the low in the Bible (except maybe for the lepers)? There's nothing new under the sun. We're hosed. If God puts us at the bottom then you know we're screwed.

    I think the best we can do is to win the people we know over and that's probably as good as it'll get. Once people in our circles believe then that goes along way.

  5. #5
    Moderator jody's Avatar
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    we should all write a book. .......curt you should write a book for us.

  6. #6
    Moderator jody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patton57 View Post
    Aren't we the lowest of the low in the Bible (except maybe for the lepers)? There's nothing new under the sun. We're hosed. If God puts us at the bottom then you know we're screwed.

    I think the best we can do is to win the people we know over and that's probably as good as it'll get. Once people in our circles believe then that goes along way.
    lets go lower curt through the roof of the Mercedes dealership.

  7. #7
    Thanks all, I guess I'm a little worried if I put all kinds of time into a book like this it might all be for nothing as there might not be a heck of a lot of interest. If I did do it I would not talk about my experiences with rehab, the initial injury or what not, I've just read so many books like this and it gets tiresome after a while. The point I really try to make to people is that it is not really so important of "how it happened" as they all seem to want to know, kinda a morbid curousity factor there I guess. It's where the person is at now at this present point in time, that's all that really matters. Not whether they were born disabled, slipped on a bananna peal and ended up in wheelchair or whatever. What really counts is just that people accept people for who they are, not dwell on the whole mechanics of everything. To me when people are so hung up on "what happened to you" it just represents the fear they have themselves of it happening to them.

    One thing I do know though is that if I do write a book it's gonna have to corrected grammatically for spelling, sentence structure, etc. Anybody who has read a lot of what I write knows I don't spell very well. I think I spent too much time day dreaming when I was little kid in school and just never learned the basics as well as I should have. It would be a real challenge for me to write a book, but I always liked a challenge. I just feel that at this point in my life at 55 years old I want to do something that makes a contribution to our society and hopefully maybe make a change for the better for the future generations. I think the prejudice towards people with disabilities has gone on for far too long and it's high time somebody or groups of people took a stand towards trying to educate the average citizen.

    nonoise, you are so right about the Mercedes dealers, I've been in the garage many times at that very dealer as I use to be in the car business myself and never saw that side of things, but you roll into the showroom and it's a whole different ball game. They think because one is disabled they are not a serious buyer and just wasting their time on you. I had been thinking about getting rid of my Cadillac CTS-V for a E63 AMG wagon, they are more comfortable than the Caddy, easier getting into with the chair (the Caddy is kind of tight) and faster, oh and a lot more expensive too, too expensive. They have to be specially ordered because they intentially keep them very rare and only send around 500 cars or so a year to the USA. In ordering one, the wait would be at least until November, no thanks. Then on the hand, the 2014's are going to be AWD with more HP and a 0 to 60 of 3.4 seconds, beats my CTS-V by over .6 seconds. Thats one thing that frusterates me with my V is getting off the line, you sit there and spin as 556 hp does funny things to the tires trying to grip the asphalt.
    Last edited by Curt Leatherbee; 06-14-2013 at 12:28 AM.
    "Life is about how you
    respond to not only the
    challenges you're dealt but
    the challenges you seek...If
    you have no goals, no
    mountains to climb, your
    soul dies".~Liz Fordred

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by jody View Post
    lets go lower curt through the roof of the Mercedes dealership.
    Lol, ya, drop me out of plane and come crashing through their roof in the wheelchair, that would really freak them out. It would make national news, hey theres an idea, maybe this would help our cause.
    "Life is about how you
    respond to not only the
    challenges you're dealt but
    the challenges you seek...If
    you have no goals, no
    mountains to climb, your
    soul dies".~Liz Fordred

  9. #9
    Senior Member NikkiMaya's Avatar
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    I am really sorry that you were treated badly at the dealership. That sucks. I understand your impulse to crash headlong into the island. That would have been my thought as well. It takes a bigger person to overcome that kind of reception and move past it.

    Jody, I woke my cat up laughing at your suggestion to lower Curt through the roof.

    I like that quote Curt. I hadn't heard it before but it really rings true. I think people react in a lot of different and sometimes unpleasant ways to things that make them uncomfortable. Disability does instill fear in most people, and I think it is an understandable emotion. However, I also believe it is a feeling that most reasonable people can move beyond to some degree once they have been exposed to people with disabilities in more than a cursory way.

    I think as human beings, most of us want to believe that we can somehow protect ourselves from bad things happening to us. Typically, when we see other people that have suffered some type of traumatic event or medical crisis, our instinct is to try to inoculate ourselves against that feeling of personal vulnerability, by telling ourselves that that could never happen to us. People use a lot of different defense mechanisms to override this fear in themselves. Some people use pity, other people use blame, others keep their distance through measures like anger or even prejudice.

    It seems illogical but there is fear in proximity. If you just met someone with an SCI or MS, for example, that condition suddenly becomes very real to you in a way that hearing about it occasionally on the news never made it. Visualizing the reality of that injury or illness up close can make a healthy person want to pull away or react in any number of unhelpful ways.

    I do think it is a process of education to reach past the defense mechanisms that some people erect. To borrow a phrase from the military, it is like winning "hearts and minds." For some people it doesn't take much. Some have never spent any time talking with a person with a disability and one conversation can be a game changer. For others it takes a lot more. Then there are some people who are totally prejudiced for whatever reason and no amount of exposure or education will make any difference at all. It is tough when you have to recognize that there are people out there that will never give you the time of day simply because of a factor about yourself that doesn't reflect who you truly are as a human being. This is the nature of prejudice and we just have to try to come to terms with it (as long as there is not active discrimination happening), and live our lives in spite of it.
    In our world constituted of differences of all kinds, it is not the disabled, but society at large that needs special education...to become a genuine society for all. -Frederic Major, Former UNESCO Director General

  10. #10
    Moderator jody's Avatar
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    like when they lowered the paralitic through the roof so Hesus could heal him. they took part of the roof off the temple and lowered him on a pallet with ropes.

    If you wrote a book can you use an editor to do spellcheck or you use the feature in your computer. ...no I mean write a book about all of us. we have one chick who fell off a porch trying to be kissed, someone who fell into a fountain, struck by lightning, and a few who got this way actually having a good time. The adventure afterwards is where it gets interesting. gaw there has to be enough to fill a book or two without depressing everyone. and if only gimps bought it, you wouldn't have to worry about sales, all the Ab folks will be buying it for their newly gimped up friends and relatives. there are tons of artists who would illustrate our situations as well. Id totally buy a copy or two.
    hell if it were illustrated in mr coffee and buckthecripple stick figures, it would be very funny and interesting indeed. we can title it, If you think your life sucks...... and we can put you on the cover being lowered into a Mercedes dealership by all your crippled buddies on the roof in their wheelchairs. ...except me, I want to be pulled around by a couple of goats. I'll swipe the hood orminent though and might-putty it onto my lil gimp wagon. ....then when they make it into a movie we can all protest if they don't use real crippled actors to play all of us......oh just write a book already and we can get someone good to play the Mercedes showroom guy when it comes out on DVD.

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