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

Re: Symptoms as Gifts

Expand Messages
  • devogney
    Message 1 of 7 , Mar 30, 2009
    • 0 Attachment
      --- 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 2 of 7 , Mar 30, 2009
      • 0 Attachment
        --- 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, 2009
        • 0 Attachment
          --- 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, 2009
          • 0 Attachment
            --- 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 5 of 7 , Mar 30, 2009
            • 0 Attachment
              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 6 of 7 , Apr 2, 2009
              • 0 Attachment
                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.