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Really good thoughts on disability

http://kuusisto.typepad.com/planet_of_the_blind/2006/09/on_being_well.html

Excerpt:
I recently attended a conference on writing and “healing” and heard lots of literary writers talking about how important their creative work was in terms of “healing” from illness. What was fascinating was the way every one of those writers assumed the easy use of “healing” or “being healed” as being analogous to the purpose behind human creativity. This is an old fashioned idea that many otherwise sensible people are still attracted to. Who would want to argue against this idea? Isn’t the goal of every therapeutic encounter to be healed?

Well no, not always. People who have disabilities or who are enduring an intractable illness are often faced with a different challenge, one that defies healing but which requires us to think about being well just the same. As a teacher with a disability who is increasingly researching the ways that culture influences our ideas about “ability” and “disability” I have come to prefer the old metallurgical term “tempering” to “healing” because it suggests that we are getting stronger without denoting a complete physical transformation.
Via elisem, who found a different but related fascinating quote in it.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
susanstinson
Nov. 5th, 2006 05:06 pm (UTC)
That excerpt is just great.
rowanf
Nov. 5th, 2006 06:08 pm (UTC)
It is interesting to note that the word “disability” didn’t turn up in idiomatic English until the 19th century. The economist Karl Marx used the term to signify people who could not work in the factories.

Huh. I hadn't realized that. Thanks for pointing out the post!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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