Monday, 3 March 2014

Feeling bad about feeling bad

The other day a play made me think about political correctness towards the disabled folk. You know, the handi-can!-ed. I’ve long stopped offering the elderly a seat on the train or the bus, because they usually react really badly, telling me off and getting really offended. Problem is, these days it is so popular to have a disability, being polite and helpful is usually met with disdain. As if – why are you treating me like I need your help? How are you supposed to act, if at all, towards someone who is clearly special needs? Are you allowed to help a blind person across the street or will they push you away? Can you make room for a person in a chair or will they give you a dirty look for patronizing them? If a little person can’t reach a shelf and you offer to help, is that considered mocking them? If a mute is making an effort, but getting nowhere, is offering to help or to lend them a pen and paper obviously condescending or is it trying to solve a tiny problem? So, being respectful and helpful towards someone’s disability – that’s the latest no-no, isn’t it?