Saturday, November 5, 2011

A Correction

Hi All --

Hey something's been bothering me since my last post, and I thought I'd get it out in the open. Every now and then, I write something not so optimistic, or not so understanding, and, well, that's not my blog's purpose, nor its inspiration, nor how we, as a people, ought to be treating--or writing about--each other.

It was the reference to dwarfs--how the car in front of mine happened to be driven by a person of short stature--I said that I found it upsetting. It was a rather obscure reference, also, to a Stephen Sondheim lyric from "Into The Woods," during the two Princes' song "Agony" -- one of them sings an aside - "dwarves are very upsetting." I included it in the blog because 1) it happened, but 2) also as a bit of cheap humor. -- as in, ha-ha--there's a dwarf in a Mazda 3. But that's not funny, really. Just uncommon.

When we get uncomfortable around people who are different from us in some way -- race, sexual orientation, physical or mental handicaps, it is ostensibly because we are unsure of ourselves--out own capacities, our own bodies, our own strengths and weaknesses: We worry that we might be seeing the worst in ourselves if we are near something, or someone, that we do not perceive to be "right."  (Hey, there's something wrong with that guy!) and we edge away, or pretend we do not see someone. It's not nice. They deserve better, and we owe it to ourselves to fight against that urge.

I did a little research today. There appear to be well over 200 syndromes and conditions that contribute to or result in dwarfism. Some present no adverse affects as the afflicted child grows up. Others, however, can result in a lot of complications and hardships during childhood, including many surgeries and hospital time.

In other words, the woman who arrived on crutches on W. 56 street the other day to get into her (illegally parked) Mazda 3, may have had some pretty severe hardships to face, through no fault of her own. Everyone has a backstory, and hers is just as valid as someone's who's six feet tall (or five-eleven and three-quarters, who tells everyone he's 6 feet). Here's one I found you might want to read.

I also found out on the Little People of America site that some misguided legislative brother in Florida is trying to repeal a ban on dwarf tossing apparently--a head-scratcher of a priority, given the thousand or so pressing issues our congressional leaders ought to be turning their attentions to.

And I found out there's some reality show called Little People, Big World, on TLC (no cable since 1997, you see.)

So there you have it -- All people have the same right to park illegally in New York (just don't take a handicap spot if you're able-bodied. That's particularly not nice. I've always felt that way), and to enjoy a modicum of dignity as they go about their day.

 Thanks for reading, and please remember to expect the unexpected -- and in fact, be OK with it. You may not hit the lottery, but your life will be all the richer for it.

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