The Blessing of Disabilities   Leave a comment

Gilles Le Cardinal  shares a vital life concept he learned from those with disabilities, an idea he called revolutionary

Because it is about how our weaknesses can be fecund and fruitful.  Especially for handicapped people, but also for others.  And that was something I discovered from handicapped people, when they said you do not have to hide what is imperfect in you.  And this changed me.  Because in a competitive world, you must hide what is weak or wrong.  Someone will try to beat you when they discover a weakness, try to take advantage of the weakness.  When two players on different teams play, they try to defeat each other.  And that is exactly where the handicapped disagree.  They respect our mutual weakness.

And then Ian Brown, the author who quoted this conversation, a father of a severly disabled boy named Walker, goes on to write a naturalistic explanation with more respect for “the least of these” than many a Christian perceives.

One is revealed by one’s need.  There is no need for posturing….  So you can perhaps forgive me for thinking, some days, that Walker has a purpose in our evolutionary project, that he is something more than an unsuccessful attempt at mutation and variation.  For thinking, probably vainly, that if his example is noted and copied and “selected,” he might be one (very small) step towards the evolution of a more varied and resilient ethical sense in a few members of the human species.  The purpose of intellectually disabled people like Walker might be to free us from the stark emptiness of the survival of the fittest.

Which, I might add, is a tendency we all have to cope and get ahead in this world, even we who are not evolutionists.


Posted July 3, 2012 by janathangrace in Reading

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