Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

Symptoms as Gifts

Expand Messages
  • Exist List Moderator
    For a variety of reasons, I have been unable to read many exchanges here for the last six months or so. But, there are random moments of skimming during which
    Message 1 of 7 , Mar 30 10:04 AM
      For a variety of reasons, I have been unable to read many exchanges
      here for the last six months or so. But, there are random moments of
      skimming during which I find a statement that I connect to life in
      general.

      The comment today was about embracing symptoms as gifts. I'm going to
      take that in a slightly different direction, but I am hoping this
      might be useful.

      In four weeks, I'll be speaking at a conference on adults with autism
      and pervasive developmental disorders. The individuals deserve
      support, encouragement, and yes, some government assistance because
      these are -- to be blunt -- people with special needs who are, in
      politically incorrect terms, disabled.

      Personally, I am tired of parents and activists calling various
      disabilities "gifts from God," not only because I don't believe in
      such a Creator (and what sort of gifts are these?) but because it
      elevates suffering to an almost superior, saintly status. Its almost
      an idolization of the "angelic and childlike" adult with diminished
      capacities. And I write this as an advocate and researcher.

      Maybe it helps the parents, guardians, and even advocates cope, but
      the truth is that a symptom of a disease, physical injury, or other
      condition is not a blessing. It is not a gift. It is a challenge to be
      overcome or in some way addressed. It is something that demands a
      civil society develop consider rationally.

      Many of the thinkers we study in philosophy and rhetoric were either
      flawed personally or had true disabilities. These do not give someone
      magical insights. That's a myth that should have been discarded by the
      mid-twentieth century -- at least. Dostoevsky's epilepsy did not give
      him special writing powers. Kierkegaard's "horrible appearance" did
      not make him a philosopher. Camus and Kafka were not blessed with TB.

      I hear students and some faculty put forth the myth that depression
      and creativity are related, but the evidence is anecdotal. We are
      simply more likely to remember the horrible ends of some writers and
      artists than the relatively normal lives of the majority. Being a
      "broken" person physically or emotionally is not a special requirement
      to be a thinker or artist.

      A parent told me that her autistic son, who also has limited
      intellectual capacity, could perceive the world better than
      "neurotypical" people. Her evidence was how violently he reacted to
      minor stimuli. "See, he's more sensitive to everything. It's a gift."

      No, it's not a gift. It's a challenge and a medical condition. He's
      also not "blessed" to be in such misery at times.

      Sorry... but I'm frustrated by what I hear and see in my work. Susan
      reminded me of the people who had homes saved just north of here. They
      thanked "God" while others who lost homes were saying "This is a gift
      we just don't understand yet." Sure, natural disaster as a gift.
      Nonsense. Utter nonsense. Human coping mechanism gone awry, if you ask
      me.

      Philosophically, I certainly see the reason to be strong, to
      persevere, and to face challenges with confidence. I don't see the
      logic of reinterpreting the facts.


      - C. S. Wyatt
      I am what I am at this moment, not what I was and certainly not all
      that I shall be.
      http://www.tameri.com - Tameri Guide for Writers
      http://www.tameri.com/csw/exist - The Existential Primer



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • devogney
      Message 2 of 7 , Mar 30 12:45 PM
        --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, Exist List Moderator <existlist1@...> wrote:
        >
        > For a variety of reasons, I have been unable to read many exchanges
        > here for the last six months or so. But, there are random moments of
        > skimming during which I find a statement that I connect to life in
        > general.
        >
        > The comment today was about embracing symptoms as gifts. I'm going to
        > take that in a slightly different direction, but I am hoping this
        > might be useful.
        >
        > In four weeks, I'll be speaking at a conference on adults with autism
        > and pervasive developmental disorders. The individuals deserve
        > support, encouragement, and yes, some government assistance because
        > these are -- to be blunt -- people with special needs who are, in
        > politically incorrect terms, disabled.
        >
        > Personally, I am tired of parents and activists calling various
        > disabilities "gifts from God," not only because I don't believe in
        > such a Creator (and what sort of gifts are these?) but because it
        > elevates suffering to an almost superior, saintly status. Its almost
        > an idolization of the "angelic and childlike" adult with diminished
        > capacities. And I write this as an advocate and researcher.
        >
        > Maybe it helps the parents, guardians, and even advocates cope, but
        > the truth is that a symptom of a disease, physical injury, or other
        > condition is not a blessing. It is not a gift. It is a challenge to be
        > overcome or in some way addressed. It is something that demands a
        > civil society develop consider rationally.
        >
        > Many of the thinkers we study in philosophy and rhetoric were either
        > flawed personally or had true disabilities. These do not give someone
        > magical insights. That's a myth that should have been discarded by the
        > mid-twentieth century -- at least. Dostoevsky's epilepsy did not give
        > him special writing powers. Kierkegaard's "horrible appearance" did
        > not make him a philosopher. Camus and Kafka were not blessed with TB.
        >
        > I hear students and some faculty put forth the myth that depression
        > and creativity are related, but the evidence is anecdotal. We are
        > simply more likely to remember the horrible ends of some writers and
        > artists than the relatively normal lives of the majority. Being a
        > "broken" person physically or emotionally is not a special requirement
        > to be a thinker or artist.
        >
        > A parent told me that her autistic son, who also has limited
        > intellectual capacity, could perceive the world better than
        > "neurotypical" people. Her evidence was how violently he reacted to
        > minor stimuli. "See, he's more sensitive to everything. It's a gift."
        >
        > No, it's not a gift. It's a challenge and a medical condition. He's
        > also not "blessed" to be in such misery at times.
        >
        > Sorry... but I'm frustrated by what I hear and see in my work. Susan
        > reminded me of the people who had homes saved just north of here. They
        > thanked "God" while others who lost homes were saying "This is a gift
        > we just don't understand yet." Sure, natural disaster as a gift.
        > Nonsense. Utter nonsense. Human coping mechanism gone awry, if you ask
        > me.
        >
        > Philosophically, I certainly see the reason to be strong, to
        > persevere, and to face challenges with confidence. I don't see the
        > logic of reinterpreting the facts.
        >
        >
        > - C. S. Wyatt
        > I am what I am at this moment, not what I was and certainly not all
        > that I shall be.
        > http://www.tameri.com - Tameri Guide for Writers
        > http://www.tameri.com/csw/exist - The Existential Primer
        >
        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
      • devogney
        Message 3 of 7 , Mar 30 12:45 PM
          --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, Exist List Moderator <existlist1@...> wrote:
          >
          > For a variety of reasons, I have been unable to read many exchanges
          > here for the last six months or so. But, there are random moments of
          > skimming during which I find a statement that I connect to life in
          > general.
          >
          > The comment today was about embracing symptoms as gifts. I'm going to
          > take that in a slightly different direction, but I am hoping this
          > might be useful.
          >
          > In four weeks, I'll be speaking at a conference on adults with autism
          > and pervasive developmental disorders. The individuals deserve
          > support, encouragement, and yes, some government assistance because
          > these are -- to be blunt -- people with special needs who are, in
          > politically incorrect terms, disabled.
          >
          > Personally, I am tired of parents and activists calling various
          > disabilities "gifts from God," not only because I don't believe in
          > such a Creator (and what sort of gifts are these?) but because it
          > elevates suffering to an almost superior, saintly status. Its almost
          > an idolization of the "angelic and childlike" adult with diminished
          > capacities. And I write this as an advocate and researcher.
          >
          > Maybe it helps the parents, guardians, and even advocates cope, but
          > the truth is that a symptom of a disease, physical injury, or other
          > condition is not a blessing. It is not a gift. It is a challenge to be
          > overcome or in some way addressed. It is something that demands a
          > civil society develop consider rationally.
          >
          > Many of the thinkers we study in philosophy and rhetoric were either
          > flawed personally or had true disabilities. These do not give someone
          > magical insights. That's a myth that should have been discarded by the
          > mid-twentieth century -- at least. Dostoevsky's epilepsy did not give
          > him special writing powers. Kierkegaard's "horrible appearance" did
          > not make him a philosopher. Camus and Kafka were not blessed with TB.
          >
          > I hear students and some faculty put forth the myth that depression
          > and creativity are related, but the evidence is anecdotal. We are
          > simply more likely to remember the horrible ends of some writers and
          > artists than the relatively normal lives of the majority. Being a
          > "broken" person physically or emotionally is not a special requirement
          > to be a thinker or artist.
          >
          > A parent told me that her autistic son, who also has limited
          > intellectual capacity, could perceive the world better than
          > "neurotypical" people. Her evidence was how violently he reacted to
          > minor stimuli. "See, he's more sensitive to everything. It's a gift."
          >
          > No, it's not a gift. It's a challenge and a medical condition. He's
          > also not "blessed" to be in such misery at times.
          >
          > Sorry... but I'm frustrated by what I hear and see in my work. Susan
          > reminded me of the people who had homes saved just north of here. They
          > thanked "God" while others who lost homes were saying "This is a gift
          > we just don't understand yet." Sure, natural disaster as a gift.
          > Nonsense. Utter nonsense. Human coping mechanism gone awry, if you ask
          > me.
          >
          > Philosophically, I certainly see the reason to be strong, to
          > persevere, and to face challenges with confidence. I don't see the
          > logic of reinterpreting the facts.
          >
          >
          > - C. S. Wyatt
          > I am what I am at this moment, not what I was and certainly not all
          > that I shall be.
          > http://www.tameri.com - Tameri Guide for Writers
          > http://www.tameri.com/csw/exist - The Existential Primer
          >
          >
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
        • devogney
          Message 4 of 7 , Mar 30 12:45 PM
            --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, Exist List Moderator <existlist1@...> wrote:
            >
            > For a variety of reasons, I have been unable to read many exchanges
            > here for the last six months or so. But, there are random moments of
            > skimming during which I find a statement that I connect to life in
            > general.
            >
            > The comment today was about embracing symptoms as gifts. I'm going to
            > take that in a slightly different direction, but I am hoping this
            > might be useful.
            >
            > In four weeks, I'll be speaking at a conference on adults with autism
            > and pervasive developmental disorders. The individuals deserve
            > support, encouragement, and yes, some government assistance because
            > these are -- to be blunt -- people with special needs who are, in
            > politically incorrect terms, disabled.
            >
            > Personally, I am tired of parents and activists calling various
            > disabilities "gifts from God," not only because I don't believe in
            > such a Creator (and what sort of gifts are these?) but because it
            > elevates suffering to an almost superior, saintly status. Its almost
            > an idolization of the "angelic and childlike" adult with diminished
            > capacities. And I write this as an advocate and researcher.
            >
            > Maybe it helps the parents, guardians, and even advocates cope, but
            > the truth is that a symptom of a disease, physical injury, or other
            > condition is not a blessing. It is not a gift. It is a challenge to be
            > overcome or in some way addressed. It is something that demands a
            > civil society develop consider rationally.
            >
            > Many of the thinkers we study in philosophy and rhetoric were either
            > flawed personally or had true disabilities. These do not give someone
            > magical insights. That's a myth that should have been discarded by the
            > mid-twentieth century -- at least. Dostoevsky's epilepsy did not give
            > him special writing powers. Kierkegaard's "horrible appearance" did
            > not make him a philosopher. Camus and Kafka were not blessed with TB.
            >
            > I hear students and some faculty put forth the myth that depression
            > and creativity are related, but the evidence is anecdotal. We are
            > simply more likely to remember the horrible ends of some writers and
            > artists than the relatively normal lives of the majority. Being a
            > "broken" person physically or emotionally is not a special requirement
            > to be a thinker or artist.
            >
            > A parent told me that her autistic son, who also has limited
            > intellectual capacity, could perceive the world better than
            > "neurotypical" people. Her evidence was how violently he reacted to
            > minor stimuli. "See, he's more sensitive to everything. It's a gift."
            >
            > No, it's not a gift. It's a challenge and a medical condition. He's
            > also not "blessed" to be in such misery at times.
            >
            > Sorry... but I'm frustrated by what I hear and see in my work. Susan
            > reminded me of the people who had homes saved just north of here. They
            > thanked "God" while others who lost homes were saying "This is a gift
            > we just don't understand yet." Sure, natural disaster as a gift.
            > Nonsense. Utter nonsense. Human coping mechanism gone awry, if you ask
            > me.
            >
            > Philosophically, I certainly see the reason to be strong, to
            > persevere, and to face challenges with confidence. I don't see the
            > logic of reinterpreting the facts.
            >
            >
            > - C. S. Wyatt
            > I am what I am at this moment, not what I was and certainly not all
            > that I shall be.
            > http://www.tameri.com - Tameri Guide for Writers
            > http://www.tameri.com/csw/exist - The Existential Primer
            >
            >
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >
          • devogney
            Message 5 of 7 , Mar 30 12:45 PM
              --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, Exist List Moderator <existlist1@...> wrote:
              >
              > For a variety of reasons, I have been unable to read many exchanges
              > here for the last six months or so. But, there are random moments of
              > skimming during which I find a statement that I connect to life in
              > general.
              >
              > The comment today was about embracing symptoms as gifts. I'm going to
              > take that in a slightly different direction, but I am hoping this
              > might be useful.
              >
              > In four weeks, I'll be speaking at a conference on adults with autism
              > and pervasive developmental disorders. The individuals deserve
              > support, encouragement, and yes, some government assistance because
              > these are -- to be blunt -- people with special needs who are, in
              > politically incorrect terms, disabled.
              >
              > Personally, I am tired of parents and activists calling various
              > disabilities "gifts from God," not only because I don't believe in
              > such a Creator (and what sort of gifts are these?) but because it
              > elevates suffering to an almost superior, saintly status. Its almost
              > an idolization of the "angelic and childlike" adult with diminished
              > capacities. And I write this as an advocate and researcher.
              >
              > Maybe it helps the parents, guardians, and even advocates cope, but
              > the truth is that a symptom of a disease, physical injury, or other
              > condition is not a blessing. It is not a gift. It is a challenge to be
              > overcome or in some way addressed. It is something that demands a
              > civil society develop consider rationally.
              >
              > Many of the thinkers we study in philosophy and rhetoric were either
              > flawed personally or had true disabilities. These do not give someone
              > magical insights. That's a myth that should have been discarded by the
              > mid-twentieth century -- at least. Dostoevsky's epilepsy did not give
              > him special writing powers. Kierkegaard's "horrible appearance" did
              > not make him a philosopher. Camus and Kafka were not blessed with TB.
              >
              > I hear students and some faculty put forth the myth that depression
              > and creativity are related, but the evidence is anecdotal. We are
              > simply more likely to remember the horrible ends of some writers and
              > artists than the relatively normal lives of the majority. Being a
              > "broken" person physically or emotionally is not a special requirement
              > to be a thinker or artist.
              >
              > A parent told me that her autistic son, who also has limited
              > intellectual capacity, could perceive the world better than
              > "neurotypical" people. Her evidence was how violently he reacted to
              > minor stimuli. "See, he's more sensitive to everything. It's a gift."
              >
              > No, it's not a gift. It's a challenge and a medical condition. He's
              > also not "blessed" to be in such misery at times.
              >
              > Sorry... but I'm frustrated by what I hear and see in my work. Susan
              > reminded me of the people who had homes saved just north of here. They
              > thanked "God" while others who lost homes were saying "This is a gift
              > we just don't understand yet." Sure, natural disaster as a gift.
              > Nonsense. Utter nonsense. Human coping mechanism gone awry, if you ask
              > me.
              >
              > Philosophically, I certainly see the reason to be strong, to
              > persevere, and to face challenges with confidence. I don't see the
              > logic of reinterpreting the facts.
              >
              >
              > - C. S. Wyatt
              > I am what I am at this moment, not what I was and certainly not all
              > that I shall be.
              > http://www.tameri.com - Tameri Guide for Writers
              > http://www.tameri.com/csw/exist - The Existential Primer
              >
              >
              >
              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              >
            • tom
              CS, You wrote Many of the thinkers we study in philosophy and rhetoric were either flawed personally or had true disabilities. These do not give someone
              Message 6 of 7 , Mar 30 12:53 PM
                CS,

                You wrote

                Many of the thinkers we study in philosophy and rhetoric were either
                flawed personally or had true disabilities. These do not give someone
                magical insights. That's a myth that should have been discarded by the
                mid-twentieth century -- at least. Dostoevsky's epilepsy did not give
                him special writing powers. Kierkegaard's "horrible appearance" did
                not make him a philosopher. Camus and Kafka were not blessed with TB.


                It would cerainly be possible to compare a number of acclaimed thinkers with the general population to see if there is any greater distrbution of epilepsy, TB, or horrible appearances amomg them than is found in the general population. I am not taking a position whither there would or wouldnt be. And of course, the statistics would be much more relevent than any position I might take.
                Tom

                ----- Original Message -----
                From: Exist List Moderator
                To: Existlist Existlist
                Sent: Monday, March 30, 2009 12:04 PM
                Subject: [existlist] Symptoms as Gifts


                For a variety of reasons, I have been unable to read many exchanges
                here for the last six months or so. But, there are random moments of
                skimming during which I find a statement that I connect to life in
                general.

                The comment today was about embracing symptoms as gifts. I'm going to
                take that in a slightly different direction, but I am hoping this
                might be useful.

                In four weeks, I'll be speaking at a conference on adults with autism
                and pervasive developmental disorders. The individuals deserve
                support, encouragement, and yes, some government assistance because
                these are -- to be blunt -- people with special needs who are, in
                politically incorrect terms, disabled.

                Personally, I am tired of parents and activists calling various
                disabilities "gifts from God," not only because I don't believe in
                such a Creator (and what sort of gifts are these?) but because it
                elevates suffering to an almost superior, saintly status. Its almost
                an idolization of the "angelic and childlike" adult with diminished
                capacities. And I write this as an advocate and researcher.

                Maybe it helps the parents, guardians, and even advocates cope, but
                the truth is that a symptom of a disease, physical injury, or other
                condition is not a blessing. It is not a gift. It is a challenge to be
                overcome or in some way addressed. It is something that demands a
                civil society develop consider rationally.

                Many of the thinkers we study in philosophy and rhetoric were either
                flawed personally or had true disabilities. These do not give someone
                magical insights. That's a myth that should have been discarded by the
                mid-twentieth century -- at least. Dostoevsky's epilepsy did not give
                him special writing powers. Kierkegaard's "horrible appearance" did
                not make him a philosopher. Camus and Kafka were not blessed with TB.

                I hear students and some faculty put forth the myth that depression
                and creativity are related, but the evidence is anecdotal. We are
                simply more likely to remember the horrible ends of some writers and
                artists than the relatively normal lives of the majority. Being a
                "broken" person physically or emotionally is not a special requirement
                to be a thinker or artist.

                A parent told me that her autistic son, who also has limited
                intellectual capacity, could perceive the world better than
                "neurotypical" people. Her evidence was how violently he reacted to
                minor stimuli. "See, he's more sensitive to everything. It's a gift."

                No, it's not a gift. It's a challenge and a medical condition. He's
                also not "blessed" to be in such misery at times.

                Sorry... but I'm frustrated by what I hear and see in my work. Susan
                reminded me of the people who had homes saved just north of here. They
                thanked "God" while others who lost homes were saying "This is a gift
                we just don't understand yet." Sure, natural disaster as a gift.
                Nonsense. Utter nonsense. Human coping mechanism gone awry, if you ask
                me.

                Philosophically, I certainly see the reason to be strong, to
                persevere, and to face challenges with confidence. I don't see the
                logic of reinterpreting the facts.

                - C. S. Wyatt
                I am what I am at this moment, not what I was and certainly not all
                that I shall be.
                http://www.tameri.com - Tameri Guide for Writers
                http://www.tameri.com/csw/exist - The Existential Primer

                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]




                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • mary.josie59
                Your frustration so well expressed reminds me of the old Everything happens for a reason. The existentialist hangs fire between fate and science.
                Message 7 of 7 , Apr 2, 2009
                  Your frustration so well expressed reminds me of the old "Everything happens for a reason." The existentialist hangs fire between fate and science.

                  --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, Exist List Moderator <existlist1@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > For a variety of reasons, I have been unable to read many exchanges
                  > here for the last six months or so. But, there are random moments of
                  > skimming during which I find a statement that I connect to life in
                  > general.
                  >
                  > The comment today was about embracing symptoms as gifts. I'm going to
                  > take that in a slightly different direction, but I am hoping this
                  > might be useful.
                  >
                  > In four weeks, I'll be speaking at a conference on adults with autism
                  > and pervasive developmental disorders. The individuals deserve
                  > support, encouragement, and yes, some government assistance because
                  > these are -- to be blunt -- people with special needs who are, in
                  > politically incorrect terms, disabled.
                  >
                  > Personally, I am tired of parents and activists calling various
                  > disabilities "gifts from God," not only because I don't believe in
                  > such a Creator (and what sort of gifts are these?) but because it
                  > elevates suffering to an almost superior, saintly status. Its almost
                  > an idolization of the "angelic and childlike" adult with diminished
                  > capacities. And I write this as an advocate and researcher.
                  >
                  > Maybe it helps the parents, guardians, and even advocates cope, but
                  > the truth is that a symptom of a disease, physical injury, or other
                  > condition is not a blessing. It is not a gift. It is a challenge to be
                  > overcome or in some way addressed. It is something that demands a
                  > civil society develop consider rationally.
                  >
                  > Many of the thinkers we study in philosophy and rhetoric were either
                  > flawed personally or had true disabilities. These do not give someone
                  > magical insights. That's a myth that should have been discarded by the
                  > mid-twentieth century -- at least. Dostoevsky's epilepsy did not give
                  > him special writing powers. Kierkegaard's "horrible appearance" did
                  > not make him a philosopher. Camus and Kafka were not blessed with TB.
                  >
                  > I hear students and some faculty put forth the myth that depression
                  > and creativity are related, but the evidence is anecdotal. We are
                  > simply more likely to remember the horrible ends of some writers and
                  > artists than the relatively normal lives of the majority. Being a
                  > "broken" person physically or emotionally is not a special requirement
                  > to be a thinker or artist.
                  >
                  > A parent told me that her autistic son, who also has limited
                  > intellectual capacity, could perceive the world better than
                  > "neurotypical" people. Her evidence was how violently he reacted to
                  > minor stimuli. "See, he's more sensitive to everything. It's a gift."
                  >
                  > No, it's not a gift. It's a challenge and a medical condition. He's
                  > also not "blessed" to be in such misery at times.
                  >
                  > Sorry... but I'm frustrated by what I hear and see in my work. Susan
                  > reminded me of the people who had homes saved just north of here. They
                  > thanked "God" while others who lost homes were saying "This is a gift
                  > we just don't understand yet." Sure, natural disaster as a gift.
                  > Nonsense. Utter nonsense. Human coping mechanism gone awry, if you ask
                  > me.
                  >
                  > Philosophically, I certainly see the reason to be strong, to
                  > persevere, and to face challenges with confidence. I don't see the
                  > logic of reinterpreting the facts.
                  >
                  >
                  > - C. S. Wyatt
                  > I am what I am at this moment, not what I was and certainly not all
                  > that I shall be.
                  > http://www.tameri.com - Tameri Guide for Writers
                  > http://www.tameri.com/csw/exist - The Existential Primer
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  >
                Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.