The One True Minority

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posted on Jun, 6 2007 @ 06:42 AM
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In the last few months I've noticed a surge in posts that were discussing the "minorities" in our society. Whether it was based on gender, skin color, sexual orientation, etc., we have seen a plethora of discussion on this matter. Some consider it the victimization of one's self, others consider it a justified discussion and position by an individual who has had their rights infringed. But my thoughts, and my purpose of this thread, is to inform everyone that no matter what your skin color, sexual orientation, gender, etc., is... you could have it so much worse and should actually consider yourself blessed.

There is one true minority that does exist, and it is the physically and mentally disabled.

This is a minority of people that can not fend for themselves. This is a group of people that when we snicker behind their back, they can not stand up for themselves or vent their frustration through a means of communication like ATS. Those that are non-verbal do not have the ability to express their pain and suffering like so many of us take for granted.

We sit here and talk about how, since I am a black woman, or a gay white man, or a cross-dressing white bisexual man in a transgendered relationship, we can not get a job. Sure, it is unfortunate. But compare that to what an individual with a disability needs to encompass on a daily basis, life ain't too shabby.

Individual prejudices and institutional prejudices exist every single day for these individuals and the simple task of going to the store is seriously infringed. They are mocked, snickered at, taken advantage of, and even feared by some.

Our health is probably the most underrated aspects of our lives. We only begin to appreciate it when it begins to deteriorate. And "most" times, it was our own wrongdoing that led to this deterioration.

What of the little boy or girl that was born with a permanent physical &/or mental disability? What did they do wrong? What did they do to deserve this life? How much would they appreciate their health? Even for just one day!

I guess I'm just a little frustrated when I see people bitching about how bad they have it because they are white, black, male, female, etc., and they are in perfect health. If you have your health, you have everything.

Next time you want to bitch and complain about how bad life is, think about those that never had the opportunities and the luxuries that we do. Think about those that never had the opportunity to hear the sound of running water, or the cawing of the crows in the morning, or the feeling we get when we go out for a walk on a cool brisk night. The satisfaction that comes when we get to really speak our mind and blow some steam off.

All luxuries that we do not appreciate.

I'd be interested to see American statistics, but I can say for sure that our Canadian government spends more money on inmates per meal than they do for individuals with a disability. Our government thinks it is more important that we feed someone who has broken the law, rather than someone who was born with a mental disability. Does nobody see a problem with that?

I'd love to hear some honest thoughts on this.




posted on Jun, 6 2007 @ 07:10 AM
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Originally posted by chissler There is one true minority that does exist, and it is the physically and mentally disabled.

I agree that we need to count our blessings, and that those with physical and mental challenges may have a tough slog. I'll say, though, that on the whole, folks are inclined to show their compassionate sides because it's isn't too tough to go "There, but for the grace of God..." Still, there are degrees of 'handicap' and often those that get the most of our sympathy actually utilise a strength of spirit far beyond most 'normal' folks.

What does bother me is the use of words like retard or 'tard as insults. I see it here on ATS, I hear it on the streets, and I find it pretty cold. I'm thinking that most people with special needs want to be treated as normally as they can be and for those with major difficulties, well, we are jusdged by how we treat our most fragile, aren't we.

In fact, in my Anthro studies, a circumstance came up where the remains of a 'cave man'...which early human variety it was escapes me...were discovered to have belonged to an individual who had suffered sever incapacitating injury at some time in his life. He had healed, but his injuries obviously prevented him from having taken part in the hunting-gathering activities of his tribe. He would have been a certain liability...yet he survived and healed. This speaks to the 'human-ness' of even early man, and I think it makes us look good. Be nice to your neighbours.



posted on Jun, 6 2007 @ 07:20 AM
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Political Correctness is something that I used to get up in arms over, but I've backed off of that. Certain terms, while may be harmful without knowing it, are not worth our time as it hurts our cause. When I look at the term "retard", I look towards culpability. If someone said, "that dumb retard", I'd be spitting flames. But if someone said, "A mentally retarded man", I would not be upset over that. I don't like it, and I believe it to be bad form, but it is just a term that has developed a negative connotation over the years.

Our problem is that we've taught ourselves to fear these individuals. I don't think everyone fears them, but I know of plenty of people that do. And when I engage them in a conversation to ask why, they can not provide an answer. "Just because!" is normally the response that I receive.

We underestimate their abilities on all levels. More importantly, we underestimate their cognitive skills.

When we walk down the sidewalk and go to the other side of the street, or look the other way, or jab the person we are walking with as a joke, they see this and they know what people are saying, doing, thinking. They are forced to live with this every day of their life, and most times they can not even express the pain that they incur due to it.

I'd take a speeding ticket because I am a black man, or turned down for a job because I am a gay woman any day over the reality that these men and women have entered into.

Societies one true minority, and one true victim.



posted on Jun, 7 2007 @ 10:05 AM
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Originally posted by chissler
We underestimate their abilities on all levels. More importantly, we underestimate their cognitive skills.

When we walk down the sidewalk and go to the other side of the street, or look the other way, or jab the person we are walking with as a joke, they see this and they know what people are saying, doing, thinking.

Deep down people know better but thats how they justify their cruelty. The more passive aggressive excuse is to assume they'd be too 'slow' to realise that people are making fun of them: "they wouldn't know the difference anyway." Makes me angry.. some are all too willing to fight against racism etc but this is different somehow. The disabled are often seen as fair game.. while the 'n-word' is a big nono, 'retard' is thrown about as though the group of people it makes fun of are irrelevent.



posted on Jun, 7 2007 @ 11:21 AM
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Maybe Australia is a less ignorant and/or more compassionate place, because even though I've been searching my memory, I can't remember many instances of what you've mentioned -- not even as a child in primary school.

Even going back to when I was very young, all I can remember is being told quietly to not stare at those with impediments. For example, as a four or five year old, there was an elderly woman who basically didn't have a nose. A child is fascinated by that, quite naturally. My mother saw the afflicted woman approaching, so pretended to be straightening my coat, in order to remind me 'not' to stare or mention the affliction. When we were on the bus, my mother told me the old woman had lost her nose because she loved smelling flowers and a little bug from the flower had caused the damage to the woman's nose. I believed it for ages. But importantly, I remembered always to speak and react normally towards the lady whenever our paths crossed, based on my mother's example.

My parents were extremely straight-foward people and stood no nonsense from anyone. But at the same time, they were compassionate towards the less fortunate. They didn't patronise those with impediments, but instead spoke to them in the same way as to everyone else. Privately, however, they explained the difficulties faced on all levels, by those with afflictions and impediments. We were raised to believe it was very bad form to either avert our gaze OR make comment, regarding such people, and that included people of different race or those with noticeable accents, the obviously destitute, etc. By the same token, my parents raised us to not defer to what were termed 'professional people' or those obviously affluent. If a doctor greeted my parents with: ' Hello there, Bill.', my father would respond with: ' Good morning, Fred.'. If the doctor greeted my father as 'Mr. Smith', then the doctor would be accorded 'Mr. Jones'. It's a pattern I've followed lifelong, as have my siblings.

I remember being appalled to learn that John Lennon parodied and mimicked those with afflictions. Apparently, he was nervous around such people, or perhaps he believed that if he mocked those with afflictions and impediments, it would prevent him from 'catching' the affliction. But it still reflects poorly on the publicly 'compassionate' Lennon.

Several years ago, I became friends with a very accomplished woman of senior age. She'd travelled the world as a 'smoky voiced jazz singer' with her musician husband, as well as reading widely and possessing a wide circle of 'artistic' friends. It was some time before I became aware of her genuine horror of handicapped people, those with mental disabilities in particular. She claimed she couldn't bear them because they suffered from over-enthusiastic affections and were prone -- she claimed -- to 'grabbing you and kissing you on the mouth'. She considered the mentally handicapped to be truly disgusting and even when recounting her aversion, she shuddered involuntarily. There's no doubt her revulsion was genuine.

Her reactions seemed very out of character and I reached the conclusion her revulsion must either have been in response to some particularly unpleasant encounter in the past --- or a spontaneous and 'natural' instinct.

I think this needs to be considered. For while these days we are being educated in compassion and what are basically good manners, re: those with handicaps, it does not always come naturally to everyone and there has to be a reason. Johnny Canuck has provided an excellent example of humanity's finer qualities in his recounting of the compassion bestowed upon the frail cave-man. It may be that the cave-man was a valued member of the community whilst 'whole' and rather than discard him when he became incapacitated, the tribe instead undertook to sustain him, despite that in their circumstances, this ran contrary to usual practice and to practicality.

But what of other societies? In Nature, in the animal world, for example, injured, disabled or simply 'different' members are driven from the pack. Albinos within the animal world are still rejected, as I saw the other night on a show about albino kangaroos. We're informed there are practical reasons for this rejection; to prevent the 'different' animal from breeding and reproducing, thus weakening the pack and the integrity of the bloodline.

We are descended from animals, as are many of our instinctive behaviours . In the human world, those with afflictions, disabilities, handicaps could be said, from a practical perspective, to be 'weaker', to 'have something wrong with them' -- thus, unsuitable for breeding purposes as their handicap may well be heritable and thus passed down to their progeny, who may well pass it down to further generations, thus compromising the integrity of the bloodline or group.

As such, the seemingly bad-mannered, discriminatory reactions displayed towards handicapped people by the physically and mentally 'whole', may actually be instinctive and --- from a practical perspective -- may be naturally driven, i.e., as per Nature.

Instinct is difficult to eradicate and realistically, perhaps it is counter-productive to attempt to eradicate it.

Nevertheless, we strive to do so in the interests of spiritual improvement and for the sake of the afflicted and we encourage others to likewise show and feel compassion for the less fortunate.

Not always and not by all groups, however. For example, a few years ago we watched a documentary concerning an inherited affliction suffered almost exclusively by jews. It was learned that those who carried the affliction could be determined via blood-tests. Accordingly, jewish families insisted on blood-tests from those intending to marry within their family. Those suffering from the condition and/or who 'carried' the condition, were rejected as marriage partners, despite their otherwise suitability.

Discrimination? Or practical?

The true test of a person's convictions is when their child indicates they intend to marry and reproduce with someone with a possibly heritable handicap or affliction.

I suspect (may be completely wrong, of course) that the vast majority of those who are unkind to the handicapped, are in fact afraid, nervous, filled with pity yet don't recognise it, embarrassed, ashamed, guilty.

Some are just pig-ignorant and badly raised.

But most, I suspect, just don't know what to do. They may have seen others make fun of handicapped people, and so this becomes the retreat of the easily led.

That's why it's so important to actually raise our own children and set them as good an example as humanly possible.

My own children, for example, wouldn't consider mocking or rejecting the handicapped. But nor would they over-compensate or patronise. They would treat a handicapped person in exactly the same way as they would hope and expect to be treated were they handicapped themselves -- in other words, 'well'. Politely. Respectfully. With warmth. Most importantly --- 'normally'.

It all comes down to empathy, doesn't it. And for those who aren't familiar exercising empathy with regard to those with handicaps -- well, we just have to keep on educating and explaining and teaching that patience (often required in transactions with those suffering a handicap) IS a virtue and one well worth cultivating.

Those with handicaps actually exercise patience continually and have cultivated it to art form as result of dealing with the rest of us.



posted on Jun, 9 2007 @ 11:14 AM
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Originally posted by Dock6
Maybe Australia is a less ignorant and/or more compassionate place, because even though I've been searching my memory, I can't remember many instances of what you've mentioned -- not even as a child in primary school.


Society is changing, but I assure you this does exist and is very rampant in our society today. It brings a smile to my face to hear of the equality that you speak of.


Originally posted by Dock6
Even going back to when I was very young, all I can remember is being told quietly to not stare at those with impediments.


Yes. But what people say, and what people do, they tend to be two very different concepts. I know of plenty people who say admirable things, but behind closed doors, or when they think nobody is looking, they act, speak, behave in a severely hypocritical way. It has been my efforts to prevent these sort of behaviours from people, but when all else fails, alls that is left for me to do is separate myself from them. Some people just don't understand.


Originally posted by Dock6
For example, as a four or five year old, there was an elderly woman who basically didn't have a nose. A child is fascinated by that, quite naturally. My mother saw the afflicted woman approaching, so pretended to be straightening my coat, in order to remind me 'not' to stare or mention the affliction. When we were on the bus, my mother told me the old woman had lost her nose because she loved smelling flowers and a little bug from the flower had caused the damage to the woman's nose. I believed it for ages. But importantly, I remembered always to speak and react normally towards the lady whenever our paths crossed, based on my mother's example.


Completely different. And I agree, the innocence of a child is certainly not what I am implying is the problem. I'm talking of the people that know better, but still behave the way they do. I'm talking about how governments that want nothing but to sweep this population under the rug. These are people that are very restricted in what they can contribute to society. Some can hold down a job, while others can not. Due to their disabilities, it is not feasible to think that they could hold a full time job. So, as it seems to me, this population that is unable to contribute, is offered very little in return.

I work in an agency that receives roughly $8-9 a day for food to feed these individuals. Less than $10 a day. Is there a problem in a system that offers murderers more money per meal than someone with OCD, Autism, Schizophrenia, Developmental Delays, etc.? I think so.

But yeah, the innocence of a young child is hardly the issue at hand.


Originally posted by Dock6
We were raised to believe it was very bad form to either avert our gaze OR make comment, regarding such people, and that included people of different race or those with noticeable accents, the obviously destitute, etc.


You come from a lucky background. But it would be an error on your part to generalize your good fortune onto everyone else. Not everyone is as fortunate to come from a stable, ethical household.


Originally posted by Dock6
We are descended from animals, as are many of our instinctive behaviours . In the human world, those with afflictions, disabilities, handicaps could be said, from a practical perspective, to be 'weaker', to 'have something wrong with them' -- thus, unsuitable for breeding purposes as their handicap may well be heritable and thus passed down to their progeny, who may well pass it down to further generations, thus compromising the integrity of the bloodline or group.

As such, the seemingly bad-mannered, discriminatory reactions displayed towards handicapped people by the physically and mentally 'whole', may actually be instinctive and --- from a practical perspective -- may be naturally driven, i.e., as per Nature.


Ignorance is not an answer. Some of the disabilities I speak of are not genetically inherited. Some are, some are not. But excusing the ignorance of some as some sort of instinctive, animalistic behaviour, well I just don't by that. When will we realize that this "superior race" is never going to exist, and there will always be a "weak" portion of the population.


Originally posted by Dock6
Instinct is difficult to eradicate and realistically, perhaps it is counter-productive to attempt to eradicate it.


So we'll continue to infringe on the rights of the innocent? Because our ignorance is "difficult" to eradicate.

Thanks... but no thanks.


Originally posted by Dock6
Nevertheless, we strive to do so in the interests of spiritual improvement and for the sake of the afflicted and we encourage others to likewise show and feel compassion for the less fortunate.


I'm not talking about patronizing them. I'm talking about showing some human decency, I'm talking about a society of equality, and most importantly, I'm talking about a government that continues to ignore these souls that could use a little attention.


Originally posted by Dock6
I suspect (may be completely wrong, of course) that the vast majority of those who are unkind to the handicapped, are in fact afraid, nervous, filled with pity yet don't recognise it, embarrassed, ashamed, guilty.


We fear the unknown. Quite simple really.


Originally posted by Dock6
Some are just pig-ignorant and badly raised.


That is what you call, hitting the nail on the head.


Originally posted by Dock6
But most, I suspect, just don't know what to do. They may have seen others make fun of handicapped people, and so this becomes the retreat of the easily led.


Again, ignorance is not a solution. I hear from time to time, I don't know what to say, I don't know how to act, I don't know what to call him/her. Uhhh, their name? Why would you ever need to behave in any fashion other than you would if it was your mother, father, brother, sister?

This notion that we need to treat them differently, or patronize them, it is insulting to them that have the cognitive abilities to understand.


Originally posted by Dock6
That's why it's so important to actually raise our own children and set them as good an example as humanly possible.


Agree 100%.


Originally posted by Dock6
My own children, for example, wouldn't consider mocking or rejecting the handicapped. But nor would they over-compensate or patronise. They would treat a handicapped person in exactly the same way as they would hope and expect to be treated were they handicapped themselves -- in other words, 'well'. Politely. Respectfully. With warmth. Most importantly --- 'normally'.


The solution that many, many more need to understand. Good for you and yours.


Originally posted by Dock6
It all comes down to empathy, doesn't it. And for those who aren't familiar exercising empathy with regard to those with handicaps -- well, we just have to keep on educating and explaining and teaching that patience (often required in transactions with those suffering a handicap) IS a virtue and one well worth cultivating.

Those with handicaps actually exercise patience continually and have cultivated it to art form as result of dealing with the rest of us.


Empathy, education, & experience. You can feel all the empathy you want, you can have all of the education you desire, but ultimately, in my opinion, i tall hinges on experience. The first time we interact with someone who is "different", we may find it a little uneasy. That is not disrespectful, that is just human nature. How we react to this uneasiness is the judge and jury of the situation.

Sometimes we put more thought into this than is required. Sometimes we need to overlook the disability, and see them for a person. Let's not define them by the disease that inhabits them, let their personality define who they are.



posted on Jun, 9 2007 @ 12:09 PM
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: Originally posted by Dock6
Instinct is difficult to eradicate and realistically, perhaps it is counter-productive to attempt to eradicate it.





: response originally posted by Chissler. ' So we'll continue to infringe on the rights of the innocent? Because our ignorance is "difficult" to eradicate. Thanks... but no thanks.




No, not 'ignorance', but 'instinct'.


I sense that you're quite angry about all this and I do sympathise.

But anger is counter-productive and wins no-one to a cause.

The people around you are simply human beings. They mostly have no pretensions of perfection and I'm sure you don't regard yourself as an exception. We all fall short, more often than we'd like.

Life is about survival. Maslow's hierarchy reveals that the less people are required to concern themselves with obtaining life's necessities, the more altruistic they become; the more they are freed to give-back to the community; the greater their energies in improving the lot of those less fortunate.

People respond best to encouragement and praise, when they're attempting to override prejudices. Punishment and criticism defeats the exercise.

Rather than challenge so many elements in my post, I ask you to read it without the anger and bitterness, please.

What is undeniable is that we are descended from animals. As such, our primary urges and responses are often animalistic. Animals operate largely through instinct.

Sex. Anger. Fight or flight. Territoriality. Defence of the young. The pack or herd mentality. These and more are basic instincts and they short-cut considerations such as 'decency', 'thoughtfulness', 'fair play', 'compassion', etc.

When push comes to shove --- as in war, catastrophe, plague, famines, floods, etc. --- it's every man for him/her self. All the politeness and good manners we're taught go out of the _ And please don't imagine you'd be any different or one day you might receive a terrible shock were you to see yourself as you truly are.

And what you are, and what the rest of us are, is humans evolving from our animalistic, instinctive origins. It doesn't happen smoothly across the board, nor does it happen because we'd like to pretend it's 'just a matter of attitude'. It's a long haul. Some are evolving faster and better than others. As a rule, they try to educate and encourage the rest.

As I said in my post, in the animal kingdom, those which are different are -- as a general rule -- rejected by the pack. Darwin had quite a bit to say about the how's and why's.

So, as creatures evolving from animals, we naturally retain many of the instinctive behaviours of those from which we descended. And one of these instinctive behaviours is to reject that which is different, in the interests of maintaining the integrity of the pack, or -- as it is these days -- the community.

Life has never been easy for minorities.

But it *used* to be a lot worse.

It's not all that long ago, as you'd be aware, that those who were different, who were afflicted and who suffered impediments -- could only survive in many instances, by functioning as side-show freaks. Not that long ago.

Would you agree that we've come quite a way -- have improved our attitudes -- since then ? I think we have. And that's to our credit --- yes?

Certainly, there's still a long way to go.

And it will not be easy, for any of us.

Because our animal instincts keep us alive !

If you doubt it, I suggest you dedicate half an hour to researching survivors, in all circumstances. The Argentinian football team whose plane crashed in the Andes, for example. They ate the victims of the crash.

Or read about high-altitude climbers. Every man for himself. If a team-mate is injured, the unwritten rule is: he is left behind, in order the rest will have a chance of survival.

Read about the women who have exerted superhuman strength and lifted crashed vehicles off loved ones lying crushed beneath.

Read about those who made it through the jungle, armed only with their wits and instincts.

So ---- in so many instances, our animal instincts are praiseworthy, are our strongest, most reliable natural weapon and defence.

Our instincts have worked for us, have brought us this far and serve us every day of our lives. Without them, we'd have become fertilizer eons ago.

Now --- in the 21st century -- we're confronted by an enormous challenge: to jetison our animal instincts in the interests of compassion and decency.

Many are making the transition.

It may not be happening swiftly enough for you. And that -- and the anger and bitterness it causes you -- is your challenge. And I wish you every success



posted on Jun, 9 2007 @ 02:02 PM
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Originally posted by Dock6
No, not 'ignorance', but 'instinct'.


But the "instincts" that you refer to are one of "ignorance" in my opinion.


Originally posted by Dock6
I sense that you're quite angry about all this and I do sympathise.


Not angry, just discouraged by the ignorance shown by those with the power to resolve this.


Originally posted by Dock6
But anger is counter-productive and wins no-one to a cause.


It can be. But sometimes a little emotion is what you need to ruffle a few feathers to bring some attention to the cause.


Originally posted by Dock6
The people around you are simply human beings. They mostly have no pretensions of perfection and I'm sure you don't regard yourself as an exception. We all fall short, more often than we'd like.


I'm not asking people to be perfect. I'm simply requesting that we acknowledge the suffrage and hardships that we overlook on a daily basis. We listen to people complaint about their color of skin, gender, sexual orientation, economical status, etc., but we never acknowledge the hardships of those without their health. I do not ask, or expect, perfection.

---

I'll add more to this later. Do not have the time right now, but later today or tomorrow I'll continue with my thoughts.

Thank you.



posted on Jun, 9 2007 @ 11:11 PM
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I would like to address physical limitations and birth defects. Chissler thanks for this thread.

It is correct to say if you have your health you have everything. My friend just lost his 16 year old daughter to CF. She didn't ask to be born with it; she wanted to lead the life every teenager should but she couldn't. My brother was born with a cleft palate and was the made fun of as a child. He turned into one heck of a person. You all know him; Seagull. I'm blessed to have him as a brother; he is without a doubt one of the most intelligent people I know; my daughter absolutely adores him and he her. People said cruel things when he was growing up. There is even a member on this board that refers to his condition as "hare lip" that is a very insulting degrading phrase as much as retard.

I wake up every morning in pain from fibril myagia (Sp) and arthritis it is chronic but you know I thank God that I can still walk and go to work in fact lead my life as I wish. There are so many people worse off then me there are small children who are crippled with arthritis who won't be able to lead their lives any way they want to. I'm a grown woman who am I to complain. I guess what I'm trying to say is we need to count our blessings and quit complaining about the little stuff that doesn't count. Look around you will see people who have over come obstacles that we can't even comprehend because we do have our health and the ability to achieve relatively easily anything we want if we put our minds to it. For the life of me I can't understand why people seem to believe that they can say cruel hateful things to people with either physical or mental handicaps. It's almost as though they believe they won't be understood. Well, you know they hear those horrid things and it hurts them so much. A mentally handicapped person understands ridicule as much as they understand hugs and love.

In closing I would like to tell you how much I admire both my brothers; Seagull and my youngest who has had to overcome not only a vision problem but dyslexia. Both are men I'm proud to know and call my brothers. Both have shown courage in over coming obstacles in their lives.

[edit on 9-6-2007 by gallopinghordes]



posted on Jun, 10 2007 @ 10:36 PM
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If you don't mind I would also like to discuss another group that is so frequently the object of ridicule.

People who have dementia or Alzheimer's are frequently stared at or ridiculed in public. My friend's mother has Alzheimer's and at this point is about 2 years old mentally. The family has been fortunate enough to be able to keep her at home and among people who love and accept her as she is. I've been frequently out with them and there are people who seem to delight in staring and making rude comments about her. It seems that old age is something to mock. Why? Are people scared that they themselves may end up this way? I love this lady I wish I had known her before her decline but I feel honored that she likes me. We don't know why perhaps somewhere in her memory I remind her of some one she loved I don't know. It hurts my friend and her sons a great deal when people stare and make comments. It's not acceptable to do so please when you see a family making an effort to keep their loved one home and a part of the family unit understand that although that individual may have silver hair and chronologically be in their 70's or whatever mentally where it counts they are in fact a toddler. Don't point and stare; treat them with respect and help preserve their dignity; they've earned that consideration. While the elder will not be aware the family will be and will appreciate it.

If you deal with Alzheimer's patients remember they too like smiles, hugs and to be treated with love and respect. They may not know who you are but they know love when they feel it.

Without mentioning their names I would like to convey my respect and admiration for my friend and her sons who have worked hard keeping Grandma home. This while being a single Mom and her sons while working, going to school. Some how they have managed to keep it all together. My friend works nights and saw to it that her kids were able to participate in any activity they wanted to. The three of them are pretty awe inspiring and tho they would deny it heroes in the true sense of the word.

[edit on 10-6-2007 by gallopinghordes]



posted on Jun, 11 2007 @ 09:31 AM
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Originally posted by Dock6
When push comes to shove --- as in war, catastrophe, plague, famines, floods, etc. --- it's every man for him/her self. All the politeness and good manners we're taught go out of the _ And please don't imagine you'd be any different or one day you might receive a terrible shock were you to see yourself as you truly are.


To that, all I have to say is September 11th. People did the right thing, because it was the right thing to do. The implication that in the wake of a tragedy, all moral obligations to our fellow man are thrown out the window, I sincerely beg to differ. Has it happened? Yes. Does that mean it is the way the world operates? No.

Why do you insinuate things that you could not possibly know, on a person that you do not know. You assume that I would behave a certain way in the wake of a tragedy, yet you have no idea where I've been in life or the things that I've seen.

You do not know how I would behave because you do not know where I've been.

I know how I would behave as I have endured it in the past. However, you are free to think as you wish.


Originally posted by Dock6
So, as creatures evolving from animals, we naturally retain many of the instinctive behaviours of those from which we descended. And one of these instinctive behaviours is to reject that which is different, in the interests of maintaining the integrity of the pack, or -- as it is these days -- the community.


That doesn't make it right. Racism is a horrible thing, but it is man-made. There are a plethora of experiments that have created an environment of racism. If it can be created, it can be defeated. Which also means that these prejudices we hold against those that are "different", they too can be defeated.



Originally posted by Dock6
It's not all that long ago, as you'd be aware, that those who were different, who were afflicted and who suffered impediments -- could only survive in many instances, by functioning as side-show freaks. Not that long ago.


You are exactly right. But it is my efforts here to have people understand that we have not reached our goal. We have removed these individuals from the prisons that we once put them in. We have removed them from the asylums and institutions that we've once housed them in. We have permitted them to live amongst us in society, but we have yet to treat them in a manner that they deserve.

So while we are on the right path, we still have a ways to go.

I think some people believe that we've reached our goal.


Originally posted by Dock6
Would you agree that we've come quite a way -- have improved our attitudes -- since then ? I think we have. And that's to our credit --- yes?


100% in agreement.



Originally posted by Dock6
Certainly, there's still a long way to go.


Again, could not agree more.


Originally posted by Dock6
And it will not be easy, for any of us.

Because our animal instincts keep us alive !


Easier for some, ignored by many. These individuals do not have a voice, so it is tough to have their hardships brought to the forefront.


Originally posted by Dock6
It may not be happening swiftly enough for you. And that -- and the anger and bitterness it causes you -- is your challenge. And I wish you every success



As I've said before, I am neither bitter nor angry. What I am is dedicated to the cause of equality and fair treatment of individuals with any form of disability. I am passionate and speak with conviction. I believe that can be mistaken for anger.

I've met too many people that do not have a voice and are being trampled on, being taken advantage of, and even worse, being defined by their disability. The disability does not define them, just as our benign details do not define us.



posted on Jun, 11 2007 @ 09:44 AM
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The Canadian health care system while over burdened is still second to none...and its free.

I am a canadian on a pension due to several different medical issues. I even went back to work after I broke my neck like chris reeves, but I had to finally throw in the towel after several lung embolisms.

I am a thrombofeliac and I had a bad reaction to coumadin therapy so I am now on low molecular weight heprin....$80 every three days covered by the government to keep me alive.

I also am a spinal cord injury survivor so now I am a "skippy" as my Uncle Gene says who has Polio.
LOL

I know that we have special needs mental health issues in canada with many falling through the cracks like my next door neighbour that hung himself.

I will say that I know a man with scizophrenia and although on a pension could use some increased home care duty aid.

I do suffer from post concussion injury and have short term memory loss.
I suffer from PTSD and I see a Psychologist once every two weeks and the man is a blessing. So I will say that I have been very fortunate, from the surgeon in Ottawa that drilled my neck back together to the psychologist I see now to my hemotologist in Ottawa, I am the first to say that health is the most important thing you can have.
I worked my whole life to stay healthy, its saved my life but I also suffer from many effects.

Its not perfect but Canada is #1 to me.
They take good care of me.
God Bless Canada



posted on Jun, 12 2007 @ 11:35 PM
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My own experiences with this bias have, as GH alluded to, not been good. I'll leave it at that.

I have few pet peeves, things that push my buttons with great effect, someone picking on a disadvantaged, for whatever reason, person is one. The nastiest fight I ever got into was in junior high school, a friend and I were headed home through the park adjacent to the school, we saw two of our freinds, and I use the term loosely, mocking one of the "special needs" kids. I saw red, and like the proverbial bull, attacked. Not exactly the wisest of choices on my part, got my ass kicked bigtime. I did, however, make my point, and it stayed made through out the rest of my time in school.

Why do people do this? I really don't know, I have some ideas, but that's really all I have...

They do it because it's human instinct to fear that which they don't know or understand. Another instinct is when confronted by the unknown, attack or runaway. If it's bigger, run. Smaller, attack. Since most, not all, of the handicapped are generally smaller then their peergroup, bingo...target.

The mentally handicapped are usually the gentlest of souls, and it breaks my heart to see them ostrasized by society, excluded through no actions of their own. The only good is that they, for the most part, don't know they are being excluded. I do, and I don't like it.



posted on Jun, 13 2007 @ 02:11 AM
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Chissler, good points and I don't disagree with anything you've said. There is one other minority which isn't really addressed either - it's homosexuals. They have no legal protection under the Equal Opportunity Employment laws, while every other minority, including the handicapped,
ARE protected by it.



posted on Jun, 13 2007 @ 03:03 AM
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This is so absurd that it would be funny if I weren`t sure that everyone on this thread were totally serious...

People generate moralisms- usually based on no part of reality but rather off pure unadulterated emotion- and then turn around and force those moralisms on the rest of society. "Oh, don`t you dare pick on someone mentally handicapped." "You`re just an insecure bully", etc etc....

Look, did it ever occur to you for two seconds that maybe, just perhaps, these behaviors that you`re observing on the part of 'insensitive people' have complex and valid reasons for existing?

I remember seeing 300 with my Fiancee, specifically the scene in the beginning where the child was born and taken outside immediately and looked over by his father as he stood on a cliffside. If you saw that film, you`ll remember the scene I`m referring to; it was rather striking. When we left the film, I remember turning to my girl and making the comment "Now -that- was a society with it`s priorities in order." She agreed.

Does that maybe sound cold to you? Distant? Heartless?

What`s heartless is to take the common, average, working man who is simply attempting to provide for the welfare of his children and works his fingers to the bone day-in and day-out to make end`s meet, to put food on the table for his kids, and then to take a percentage of the rewards of his hard-earned labor away without his consent and use those funds- use his work- to support some useless person who is incapable of working; who spends his or her time sitting in an institution somewhere, drool running down their chin, and cold stark emptiness in their mind. That, my friends, is heartless. That is distant. That is cruel.

The real minority? Please. The real minority is the guy working in the back of the kitchen at the resturant you eat at; the guy clearing lumber to make the chair you sit in; the guy working in the hot scortching grimy disgusting depths of some steel mill just with the thought that he has to sock aside enough to maybe, just maybe, help put his kid through college so he won`t have to do what his father is doing. The guy the bleeding-hearts don`t give a rip about because all he is to them is a source of funds that they have no right to but that their clamor for never ends.

So no, if I see some retard on the street drooling away and I happen to grin to myself, don`t you dare have the temerity to condemn me for that, because my tax dollars are keeping that person alive, that person who contributes nothing to my happiness, to my quality of life, to my sense of well-being. That person will never know the stress he or she is putting on the remainder of us because it`s enablers whine to the government for ever more funds, ever more money, for a life that will never improve, never get better, never have value to the rest of us who are nevertheless forced to subsidize it.

Don`t you dare condemn me, or anyone else who supports society, who WORKS, for laughing at that.

Perhaps Atlas should shrug.



posted on Jun, 13 2007 @ 04:57 AM
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Originally posted by wagnerian21
This is so absurd that it would be funny if I weren`t sure that everyone on this thread were totally serious...

People generate moralisms- usually based on no part of reality but rather off pure unadulterated emotion- and then turn around and force those moralisms on the rest of society. "Oh, don`t you dare pick on someone mentally handicapped." "You`re just an insecure bully", etc etc....

Sounds like you hear this alot..

Look, did it ever occur to you for two seconds that maybe, just perhaps, these behaviors that you`re observing on the part of 'insensitive people' have complex and valid reasons for existing?

Are you talking about sadism and a primal urge for people to want to dominate others because they get off on it and are insecure in themselves? I don't think thats a valid excuse in this day and age.

If you saw that film, you`ll remember the scene I`m referring to; it was rather striking. When we left the film, I remember turning to my girl and making the comment "Now -that- was a society with it`s priorities in order." She agreed.

Given the subject matter I take it your are referring to someone 'weak' who's been killed?

Does that maybe sound cold to you? Distant? Heartless?

Biggoted with violent tendancies.

What`s heartless is to take the common, average, working man who is simply attempting to provide for the welfare of his children and works his fingers to the bone day-in and day-out to make end`s meet, to put food on the table for his kids, and then to take a percentage of the rewards of his hard-earned labor away without his consent and use those funds- use his work- to support some useless person who is incapable of working; who spends his or her time sitting in an institution somewhere, drool running down their chin, and cold stark emptiness in their mind. That, my friends, is heartless. That is distant. That is cruel.

Most 'retarded'/handicapped people do not sit in homes drooling. The more severely disabled [the minority of them] have familes who take care of them or have live in or part time carers.. others are capable of being independent. Alot of what stops them being independent is people like you who perpetuate ignorant stereotypes that dictate what they are and aren't alloud to do in society. It's not that they can't work.. it's because people like you have already decided they are incapable of it.

So no, if I see some retard on the street drooling away and I happen to grin to myself,

Thanks for proving our point.. :shk:

Don`t you dare condemn me, or anyone else who supports society, who WORKS, for laughing at that.

Why shouldnt you be condemned? You do not support the princibles of the ATS community by spreading ignorance and encouraging biggotry. Maybe you should review the guidelines.

[edit on 13-6-2007 by riley]



posted on Jun, 13 2007 @ 07:02 AM
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wagnerian21,

What makes you think I'm not that person? Who said that I wasn't a guy busting his ass forty hours a week just to make it through? Who said I wasn't a guy that scrapes for an extra hour of overtime just so I can come up short on bills, once again?

Maybe there are those of us that don't live the "high life", but still have the decency to understand there are those of us that still have it worse.

This type that you speak of, they are the worst kind. The ones that think, no matter what, nobody could have it worse from them. We all work, we all bust our ass, and most weeks our knuckles are worked to the bone. But at least you can. And at least I can.

Anyone, and I do mean anyone, who goes through life thinking, acting, believing, saying, etc., some of what you have said, does not appreciate anything that they have been given.

If you work in a job that you don't like, or if it doesn't pay the money you desire, then upgrade yourself and find better employment. Do something about it. Don't sit on a computer spilling your sour grapes on a group of people that can not fend for themselves. You can do something about it. They can't. You have a voice, they do not. But you chastise the victims, because of their disability.

Condemn you? I would do no such thing. It is you that has to live with this bitterness every day of your life, and that is more than enough to handle I think.

Maybe some day you'll come to understand the benefits that you do have, even if you don't have a six figure income.



posted on Jun, 13 2007 @ 08:51 AM
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How dare we condemn? We don't, you've managed to just fine yourself. My whole take on your rant was one of guilt for having mocked or laughed at the handicapped among us. So there really was no need to condemn you. You've managed just fine on your own...

Most of us are that guy washing dishes in the back of the restaurant, or in the depths of the steel mill. Yet we manage to, most of us anyway, to provide for our families, and maybe occaisionally when we can, help those in need of it. How dare you condemn us for calling out those who have nothing better to do than laugh at, or worse ignore, those whose only crime, if it can be defined as such, was to be born less than perfect. Precious few of us were so blessed.



posted on Jun, 13 2007 @ 09:31 AM
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Originally posted by wagnerian21
So no, if I see some retard on the street drooling away and I happen to grin to myself, don`t you dare have the temerity to condemn me for that, because my tax dollars are keeping that person alive, that person who contributes nothing to my happiness, to my quality of life, to my sense of well-being.


Just out of idle curiousity...should you suddenly become one of those burdens upon honest, hard working folks like yourself....you know, have a car accident that leaves you 'on the street drooling away', or perhaps contract some illness like ALS, can we just take you out behind the barn? Cuz you'd be pretty useless, and costing me a bundle. I guess you'd be all for pulling the plug yourself, cuz, by gum, you have your priorities straight! What about kids? Should you become father to what you so kindly call a 'retard'...you'd be taking care of that so I'm not out any dough, right?

Grow up, and find a little humility along with some humanity. Then you can play with the big kids.



posted on Jun, 13 2007 @ 12:08 PM
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Wagnerian, some people who are not handicapped can be pretty useless as well. They are handicapped by their cynical views, which means they don't contribute anything positive to society. You might want to think about that.





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