01 May 2010

Otherly Orientated Ought to Mean that we're Aware & Inclusive of Each Other

I'd like to say I hold great optimism regarding altruism, but cynicism oft wins out when I see evidence of disablism amongst people who claim egalitarianism and holism, not to mention holyism!

An "ism" can be a school of thought, or it can be a form of discrimination, differentiation and division. We've used legalism as a mechanism against racism and sexism, but utilitarianism oft overrules idealism in the form of egoism as we allow people with an impairment to be sidelined at the least, and oppressed or attacked at the worst!

Never heard of disablism? Have you witnessed it, or practiced it; acting with prejudice against someone because of their stutter, their poor memory, their limp, their dodgy breathing, their lack of function in a hand, leg, eyes or ears?

Shall I describe Jeff's illness, Traci's battle, Chrissy's accident, Mark's courage, Carol's routines? Shall I introduce you to Amy, Oliver, Kelea, Belinda or Patsy?

You know, it's an interesting phenomena that we pay attention to those who are and could be marginalised by society when they are people we know and love; that we'll cry foul when the impact is close to home, when we know their name.

Next time you see disablism, discrimination against someone because of their disability, adopt them as your own and practice enablism instead of pacifism.

The person you champion might just overwhelm you with their courage, insight into justice and perspective on the intrinsic value of the individual in the great sea of humanity.

Or, they might just thank you and get on with their busy and rich life, as anybody would.

altruism

(ethics) Regard for the welfare of other people (as opposed to one's own welfare) as the highest principle of action. While one could, in theory, describe altruism as a form of eudaimonism since it seeks to maximize happiness, eudaimonism is always taken to be a kind of individualism or egoism (and therefore in opposition to altruism). Strictly speaking, Kantianism and other forms of deontologism are not variants of altruism since they emphasize conformance with duty or moral law rather than concern for other people. In general, altruism emphasizes either the intent to benefit others (see intentionalism) or the practical result that one's actions do indeed benefit others (see consequentialism). Often altruistic doctrines are universalized, as in utilitarianism (which holds that the highest ethical principle is "the greatest good for the greatest number". The popular meaning of altruism is loosely connected to the philosophical meaning, and usually refers to an attitude of benevolence toward other people.
[Coined by Auguste Comte from French autrui, descended from Latin alter: other.]

Check out Diary of a Goldfish blog or BBC's OUCH! pages.

Also check out Wheelie cAtholic talking about Disability Is Not an Illness. I Iove her reference to "healthy as a horse" and the horse not being able to button a shirt either!

http://wheeliecatholic.blogspot.com/2009/05/disability-is-not-illness.html


6 comments:

Rachael said...

Good on you! I'm looking forward to a weekend dipping in and out of Blogging Against Disablism posts - yours is the first for me!

Ruth said...

Thanks for visiting my blog and linking.

Your post goes right to the heart of disablism!

Happy BADD 2010 :)

Adelaide Dupont said...

"Shall I describe Jeff's illness, Traci's battle, Chrissy's accident, Mark's courage, Carol's routines? Shall I introduce you to Amy, Oliver, Kelea, Belinda or Patsy?"

Great way to fix it into the minds and hearts of people.

Thank you, Comte, for coining the word altruism.

Mary said...

"The person you champion might just overwhelm you with their courage, insight into justice and perspective on the intrinsic value of the individual in the great sea of humanity.

Or, they might just thank you and get on with their busy and rich life, as anybody would."

I loved this bit.

Maureen said...

I had someone (a somone with a disability) share with me once that what I call courage when I look at them is what they call just another day! I am proud to call many of these folks my friends. Their families overcome huge predjudice and being made to feel unwelcome in the world because they make it inconvenient for others. Them and there families are my heroes for making it just another day. I am so thankful that God has allowed me to be a part of their lives and that they have been willing to be a part of mine.

seahorse said...

Yes! Altruism. Such a perfect choice of word. Great post.