Saturday, March 24, 2007


I think one of the worst habits we have is telling other people not just how they're supposed to live their lives, but what the appropriate emotional responses to life events - births, deaths, triumphs, tragedies - are supposed to be. While we're not all twisted freaks like Rush Limbaugh, I think the impulse is a fairly universal one.

People who get a serious illness, or become disabled, lose both their agency and their humanity in the eyes of many. They become freaks who have to prove they are human in every interaction, and have to reassert their own agency at every moment.

For some reason the most natural and seemingly healthy impulse - to go on with your life as you had intended to the best of your ability - seems to be the most alien to those not experiencing a tragic illness.