Disabled Don't Want Pity, But Why?

I have always found it curious how the disabled do not want sympathy; yet, I have a non-obvious diasbility that I wish people could understand. So, I cannot comprehend why the disabled do not want sympathy. Is it so terrible to show sympathy for these people? I can understand if they don’t want a pity party, but can they imagine a world of totally non-sympathetic people?

“Pity” and “sympathy” have taken on different connotations. Mr. T said, “I pity the fool…” He didn’t say, “I sympathize with the fool…” Both words have nearly identical definitions, though.

I might reject sympathy, but I’d gladly take compassion or empathy.

Pity usually goes along with an assumption that the disabled are helpless. Sometimes sympathy can too but not always.

Yeah, “pity” nowadays means condescension, an assumption of helplessness or inferiority. Understanding is a different animal and means, for one thing, equality.

when I am out with mrAru either in my wheelchair on a bad day, or crutches on a good day, I find people talk to him and not me. Why the hell should he have an opinion on which brassierre I want … and I am a gimp, not deaf to be shouted at, nor am I mentally deficient and need to have something explained or asked of me in simple one syllable words.

Now if you want to open a door for me, or help me by carrying a package, I’m fine with that …

What they said. Pity also implies that “you poor thing, your entire life automatically sucks, mine is so much better than yours.” There’s an aura of superiority, and also of somehow “knowing” that somebody can’t do things. You’d be surprised at how creative people can get in some circumstances.

Now, empathy or compassion or understanding…that’s different. “Wow, the world is not built for you, is it? That sucks. What can we do about it?” Those can be downright constructive. There’ve been a few things done for me at work that make my work life easier without making anybody else’s more difficult. My boss is awesome.

Somebody last week emailed me one of those glurgy stories about a kid with some disability (I don’t remember what) who was watching a baseball game and somehow the losing team decided to let this strange kid up to bat because they were losing anyway and let’s give the poor cripple a chance and somehow both teams ended up cheering him on to run around the bases because of course somehow he hit a home run, and this was presented as a heartwarming story about his moment of (fake) glory. Yeah. Because all disabled kids want to be put on pedestals or something. How about the kid wants to join the team, let him join the team and have him play like the others, with whatever adaptations he might need?

That was pity. Gag.

Not sure that the deaf relish being shouted at, but I get your point.

Hoo boy that’s mild. But yeah, disabilty glurge is so freaking bad. It makes Chicken Soup for the Soul look like a New Yorker fiction piece.
You should see some of the forwards I get on my various and sundry listservs (and my disabilty isn’t that big of a deal. Yet the moms go on and on how they’ve lost a “perfect” baby)

Why would people want pity? My experience is that it usually makes you feel worse, at least if it goes beyond the “I’m sorry your dog died” stage. Being pitied is generally a reminder that somebody else thinks you’re screwed.

:rolleyes: Psssht. No such thing as perfect. Every kid is going to have something imperfect about them, that’s life on earth. Can I smack those moms?

That’s not what George from Seinfeld would say

“Pity’s very underrated. I like pity. It’s good” - George Costanza

The OP seems to be confusing sympathy/pity with empathy.

Everyone wants to feel like they’re part of a group. No one wants to stand out and be singled out for any reason good or bad. (Well most don’t).

That was mild? It was way worse than my summary. It’s just that I barely glanced over it once, nearly puked in my wastebasket right there at my desk, and deleted it.

Oh dear. I begin to see a problem here.

Yep. One of my friends is in a wheelchair and it’s a 50/50 chance on, if we’re at a restaurant, they’ll actually ask her directly what she wants. WTF? The server will ask me or my other friend, “and what does she want?”

Either we say, “I have no idea, why aren’t you asking her?” or she takes charge and says, “excuse me, if you want to ask what I want, ask me directly. I’m not incapable of conversation!” I love her! :slight_smile:

I suppose, like all generalizations, there are exceptions to this one. It’s not hard to imagine that some would like pity, or at least the opportunity to exploit someone’s pity.

But as a general rule, it’s good.

Well, wiki says that pity kind of evokes a “slightly contemptuous sorrow.” It implies that you’re looking down on them from some kind of level. Empathy, I agree, everyone wants, but who wants to be condescended to?

It’s not that they don’t want sympathy. Of course they want compassion. It’s just that they want it in the form of being treated like everyone else. They are constantly being reminded by others of their disability. You don’t feel that way because yours isn’t apparent to others.

That’d be the “thank goodness I’m not you!” level.

That is a perfect example and I am quite likely to steal it sometime in the future.

AWESOME! Glad a nondisabled person feels that way too! I mean yeah being sad when your kid is dx as having a profound disabilty (ie the type where they are deaf, blind profoundly mentally retarded and have ten zillion medical problems) is understandable. But going into this whole " Oh boo hoo hoo" mode b/c your kid is just deaf or blind or has cerebal palsy or some other random disabilty that doesn’t even cause pain or anything…
whiterabbit, ever seen " Welcome to Holland?" or the " I’m a speshal angel sent from heaven!" crap ? Enough said!! The area of Disabilty Glurge is VOMIT inducing!
This is a response I wrote to WTH a few years ago: http://www.fvkasa.org/reports/welcome.html

Oh boy, I get to plug my own article!

I few years ago I won a pretty big screenwriting award. My piece was about how cripples should be treated just like everyone else. I even had a scene where the disabled protagonist was ignored by a waitress, which is probably universal for disabled people. The San Diego Union Tribune interviewed me and wrote an article about the story. Guess what the author focused on?

I drink through a straw!

I made a post about this article on the Dope after it was published, and it was almost unanimously agreed that it was an insulting pity piece. Way to miss the point of my message entirely. :rolleyes:

Compare that to this article that The Koala wrote about me, that I actually just came across now. The Koala is a UCSD newsletter that trolls the campus with politically incorrect humor. Not my cup of tea, and it’s despised by pretty much every minority.

Emaciated Weird Al Yankovich (NSFW language)

That’s freaking hilarious! Normally no one would dare rip on me, to my face at least, even in jest. It’s so refreshing to get my difference bashed just like any other minority, as long as it’s not overtly malicious, which I don’t think this is. Guess which article I put up on my wall?