It was not long ago that people often talk so much about obesity. In some of the years way back, it is a condition that makes individuals different from the rest of the crowd. It is nothing comparable to being special because those years made it sure that being overweight is somehow an issue. However, not long after fast-food chains, junk foods, and processed foods became a hit; nobody talks about obesity as a taboo anymore. A lot of people began to understand that obesity is a lifestyle choice. But after that acceptance, society then shifted its outlook into the subject of disability. Individuals began to see it as something that is widely open to public discourse. “Physical disability reminds the able bodied of our frailty and mortality, and mental disability gives us a glimpse into the invisible yet damaging world of cognitive and emotional distress,” Ryan Howes PhD, ABPP explains.
Honestly, there is nothing wrong with the public taking an effort in putting disability on a hot topic. But the problem is, people’s comments about a particular disability issue often cover as either a compliment or an insult. That is the reason why persons with a disability find it hard to decide how to respond and engage in a particular situation. There is no assurance that what the other people are saying is something offensive or not.
According to Ruth M. H. Peters and co-authors, “Persons affected by leprosy or by disabilities face forms of stigma that have an impact on their lives.”People talking about disability as if it is something that takes over the world is a bit exaggerated. Real talk, society is looking at its condition as something that is unprogressive, pitiful, and burden. People telling how lucky disabled persons are for surviving their situations will never say it without thinking how they wish God forbids the condition will happen to them. See, that is how the public creates this biased concern towards those individuals with a disability. Honestly, the public can genuinely care. However, most of the time, they do it not because they see that person as equally capable as them. But instead, caring for the disabled persons often comes with pity, responsibility, and sometimes the fear of becoming one.
Well, persons with disabilities cannot complain, right? Because instead of them trying to disregard the help, it is way much better if they accept it. People who are disabled fully understand that they need help. Therefore, the issue of portraying strength and ability is always a different side of the story. But how does the public see it? Well, the truth is, able people can choose to either give a damn or not. They can decide not to care and only talk about it when they want to discuss something related to disability. From there, individuals can get the concept that disability for these people, seems to become a choice, same as obesity. But we all know it is not.
Society’s unacceptable view of people with disability is not something anyone of us can erase instantly. The judgments, insults, exaggeration, all of these are the growing parts of it. No one will say that they care because they feel like bothering. No one will admit that how they see and treat persons with disabilities is related to their personality. Society care for these disabled people because at the back of their minds, these individuals are and will always be “incapable.” But Elizabeth Mazur, Ph.D. seeks for societal progress, “Let living with a disability be a source of value, meaning, and pride.”