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Posts Tagged ‘pity

A Cure For Pity

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by Treadmarkz

I love this ad that Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare is running. The theme is “Pity. It’s 100% Curable.” I think the ad hits the subject from the right angle.

I love it because I went to Gillette myself as a very young child with spina bifida and it was at that stage in my life when it was most crucial that I found out for myself that yes I had a disability and no there was no changing it, and that the only thing that needed adjusting was the way I saw myself and the way I worked with what I had. Of course I did not think of it in those words exactly, when I was five. But you get the idea.

And this ad works on more than one level really. It addresses the pity that the disabled child might feel for himself, and it also speaks to the fact that once that child cures his self-pity, he can start showing the world around him that there is absolutely no reason to pity him, nor is there, in fact, any room or time for pity. He’s got a life to start living.

A Courtesy Call From Your Friendly Neighborhood Handicapped Lady

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by Treadmarkz

This one goes back a few years, but it is something that popped into my mind last night, and I would love to read people’s thoughts on the subject:

When I was still living at home with my parents, I remember them talking about sales calls they would get from a woman identifying herself only as “the handicapped lady”. What she was selling or advocating is lost to history, but the point is she used her disability as a…well, a gimmick. I don’t wanna get off on a rant here, but it also pigeonholed her as a person with disabilities, and not much more. That was all she wanted people to know about her, it seemed.

I suppose all of us with disabilities may have used our situation, blatantly or not, as a way to gain someone’s sympathy (“I can’t do that, my legs don’t work”), trust (people tend to think that disabled people are incapable of back-stabbing behavior, but it is simply not true), or just to gain an advantage that able-bodied people would not get (billions examples from un-needed SSI payments to everyday things like a seat closer to the door – anything).

But how far is taking it too far? When is using your disability to your advantage (or as a gimmick) just unhealthy self-deprecation, and a plea for pity, i.e., “the handicapped lady”?