Being different in our society has deemed itself a major challenge for many people. It’s a challenge for not only those impaired, but those around them. “Looking under disability: The Anthropology of Impairment”, discusses the struggle that many of us face when interacting with someone with a physical impairment.
It’s normal to double take on something that is abnormal or stands out. But why do we have to be this way? Why is different something that is so hard to deal with as a society? I think many people are uncomfortable with people with disabilities. I think a lot of people feel sorry for people with disabilities and therefore assume those with the disabilities are hostile and bitter about their situation, even though they may not be. This forces the person to treat the disabled individual in a different, more careful manner.
Another reason many people are uncomfortable with those with disabilities is because they are afraid they are going to offend the person and say something that may upset them and hurt them. Many of us fail to realize that a person with a disability feels just like we do, therefore they are not worried about someone offending them or acting in a way that may upset them, because they do not see a problem with themselves.
Have you ever wondered why our society struggles so hard with the idea of “different”? It’s not just those who suffer from a disability but those who look different, those who identify with lesbian, gay or bisexual groups, and those who do not fit “the mold” that our society believes we should all fit.
I believe this article not only discusses the common struggle many face when interacting with someone who is disabled (and those who are disabled having to deal with those who are not) but also opens up a larger discussion on the idea of “the other”, and people that are different. Our society struggles with the idea of accepting people who are “different”, and although we are making great strides in becoming a more accepting society, we still have a long way to go.