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« Young and Restless in China | Main | Doing Well v. Doing Good »

June 22, 2008


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I agree. And I think anyone, who has struggled with a prolonged illness, would agree.

At first, your self-worth plummets. Next, you drown in self-pity. After a while, when you start doing everyday things again, you realise - you do the best you can, and that's the only thing which matters.

Most "normal" people avoid the subject of disability and illness. What can they say, anyway, than "This must be so hard for you."

These "normal" people have a limited understanding of themselves. They can never imagine themselves disabled. Once a person is stricken with disability or sickness, and has learnt to accept it and move on - he realises that health and ability don't define him. Nature gives life, whatever form it takes - you choose what to do with it.


I'm thinking about including a day in my syllabus this fall (for "Asian Ethics") to a discussion of disability from a Taoist perspective. Could you recommend a short, not too difficult to get through (undergraduate core curriculum course!) on the subject? If you know of anything, I'd be grateful (perhaps even something you've written -- a chapter from your book that you think would work as a standalone piece?).

Thanks in advance,

You're right about the disability issues: there's a long tradition of "self-esteem" tied to functionalist achievements, not to mention the "plucky" and "heroic" disabled narratives which this hooks in to.

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Aidan's Way

  • :

    Understanding disability from a Taoist point of view