Wednesday, March 04, 2009


My tolerance was already low.

I cannot HANDLE it when people throw the word "retard" around - in fact, I've made it my mission in life to AUTOMATICALLY and VERY VOCALLY correct people the INSTANT the word mistakenly comes from their mouth (or their keyboards).

Likewise, "stupid," "idiot," and "dumb."

They are offensive.

They are inaccurate.

They are unkind.

They lack compassion.

They are antiquated.

Those with developmental disabilities are the last frontier - still fair game for many to discriminate against and BULLY, and feel superior to.

Trying to relax for a few minutes last night before bed, I flip through O, The Oprah Magazine, landing on an article on trust.

Lau Tzu's quote, "The Master...trusts people who are trustworthy. She also trusts people who aren't trustworthy. This is true trust."

So far, so good.

Then it says, "Many earnest do-gooders skew this to mean that everyone is noble at the core..." "... But that's not 'true trust'; it's another verson of denial, like the one Pema Chodron calls by the memorable label 'idiot compassion.'"

PEMA CHODRON IS SAYING IDIOT COMPASSION? Like only an "idiot" would feel this way?


Merriam-Webster has as its definition of idiot: "usually offensive : a person affected with extreme mental retardation."

I'll say it's offensive.

Pema Chodron is out.

O, Magazine - out.

You know who is NOT out? "Idiots."

Never met one yet I couldn't trust.


Suzy said...

Those terms are just plain wrong.



jesswilson said...

words have so much power. they can build, create, unite. or they can hurt, destroy, alienate.

we have to take such care in how we choose to use them.

Wanda said...

Does that mean I have to find a new term for Bush?

Angie Ledbetter said...

Amen, sistuh girl. My little special needs students were some of THE most brilliant and kind people I've ever known. And talk about selfless! It's the "superior" folks who don't have eyes to see.

She said...

That would make me snap too!

Words are so powerful.

KLH said...

No, words are not powerful. They're, in fact, powerless. What IS powerful are our interpretations of a word when it's being used, and our reactions to hearing it. Our reactions have all the power over how a word effects us. Truly, if you lost your capacity for language, or traveled to a place where you didn't know the language, you may not know when to get offended. I hope you're feeling less angry. It really would be sad to dismiss the wealth of wisdom that someone like Pema has over the use of one word. Perhaps she doesn't mean it in the way you interpreted, but you won't know until you get to know her first. She has plenty of books you could start with. Side note: I'm not a PR person, nor even a student of hers. But I appreciate wisdom when I hear it.