Greatness: A blog essay inspired by Deaf Events.

Greatness is not in our weaknesses, but in how we overcome them we can become great.

So, I have to go to Deaf Events for my ASL class, as I think I’ve mentioned before.

And while there are a few I enjoy, for the most part, I don’t get much out of Deaf Events.

I’ve noticed this thing with the deaf community, I think it’s best if I express it through some notes I took while actually at an event yesterday at my college:

Some of these stories are interesting, and it’s good to know what these people have experienced, but I still don’t understand why they make their disability their identity.

I think how horrified they would be if Jesus healed one of them right now, horrified, because they don’t think they need to be healed. What a way to spit in the face of the Gd who made the ears, and clearly intends most of us to hear.

It all reminds me too much of how The Incredibles points out that exceptional people are pushed down by the ordinary. The kicker is all of us can be exceptional in different ways, but instead of pursuing excellence, we pursue equality.

The strong are shoved out of the way of the weak, instead of the weak being elevated to the strong’s level. Perhaps they (the people sharing) did learn to join the hearing world, but they do not view it as a more complete picture of life. Blind people know they are missing out on something, and who would argue that?

All my life people have wanted me to put my strength aside, one lady here just said “put your hearing aside.” Why? Will deaf people put their deafness aside? No one would even ask them to.

Whether out of pity or a false sense of equality, it really doesn’t matter, either way they still aren’t our equals. [I meant in terms of ability, not that they are not human beings just like anyone else.] Reminds me of Adam Taurus from RWBY and his “lionized” ideas of faunus. Being at a disadvantage does not automatically make you worthy to rule. We forge our strength in suffering–and in joy–if we never have the second, then the first will warp our strength.

I learned to be stubborn by being afraid and angry, but I learned to use my willpower with joys. Why am I always being told to shut up? Using my strength has been the only way I helped people. And we need the strong to lift up the weak. God makes our weaknesses strength, until He does, they don’t help anyone. True of physical weakness as well as other sorts.

That was a bit raw, I know.

Perhaps I sound a bit like a disgruntled hearing person, mad that my advantages are being exposed.

Well, guilty as charged I guess. I am hearing…like most people…and I do have advantages because of that.

Saying deafness is not a disadvantage is akin to saying you don’t need your right arm. You can live without it, and do almost anything really important, but you do need it. Only a lunatic would cut off their right arm.

Yet people willingly choose to be deaf because the idea somehow got popular that it was something to be proud of. Like it was their choice!

Well thanks to the stupidity of socialism, now it is. I don’t mean you should have to get a hearing aid if you don’t want to, but the whole notion that turning down the opportunity to hear is somehow liberating is…insane.

Sure, you might feel like it is…people feel like a lot of things that aren’t true, but objectively, it’s better to be able to hear. IT’s safer, easier on the people around you, and lets you enjoy a lot of things in life.

Deaf people have begun to take pride in the fact that they miss out on all these things, because it means they get to be a part of their deaf culture, and only them. There’s an attitude that hearing people are somehow intruders into it.

Which is totally backwards. I don’t know of a hearing person who’d look at a deaf person as an intruder into our culture, because our culture is…culture. It’s based around being able to hear.

Some people now have the nerve to resent that…like it’s not okay!

And that just gets under my grill, because why the heck should the rest of us feel ashamed for not being…deaf

Oh excuse me for being able to use my ears…that I have…because I’m supposed to be able to hear…yeah, I should be so ashamed.

Lest you think I’m going off on deaf people, let me just say, I’ve met some who are not like this. I believe the ones I know would probably not say this to my face, or even realize they think this way. What’s unfortunate about it is they don’t realize the implications of the term “deaf pride.”

I have no problem with deaf people in general. The ones I met who treated me like a person who was honestly trying to understand them, I liked. I found them very easy going, friendly, and open. Great! I like people like that.

Imagine my shock when I discovered via my liberal college’s biased material that there’s a lot of deaf people who not only embrace deafness as some kind of gift just by being what it is, but actually think I, as a hearing person, should have to be at their level.

Here’s the deal: I’ve seen videos openly implying that  I should just freaking learn sign language because deaf people feel so unheard and unseen and shut out by hearing people…the irony? The video had to have been shot at a school that welcomed deaf students if there were that many of them involved.

Also, uh, writing exists.

What was funny is one deaf lady at the event I was at was saying “Deaf people don’t need you, they can write, interpreters just make things easier.” Really, well if you don’t need us, quit whining about not being heard…start speaking.

That’s not meant to be cruel. Many of them can speak, or could, had they chosen to learn. And they can speak through other mediums. It’s silly to expect everyone to learn your language. If they want to talk to you, they will; but if you want to have a voice in their culture, you need to learn their language.

I would not take up residence in another culture without learning it’s language. Which is why deaf people do learn to talk… so why the shaming? I’m not really sure what the problem is.

They swear they are oppressed, but in their country, (I know I have readers not from America, so this won’t apply unless you have a similar set up) you literally can get paid for being disabled…yeah…that’s definitely oppression.

“But hearing people just don’t understand deaf people, Natasha. We need to be more accepting of those who are different.”

Oh please.

Yeah, there are jerks out there who mistreat anyone who’s different. Ten to one, it’s not just deaf people either. Bullies are bullies. But there’s more people learning sign now than ever before, more programs for deaf people than before, and more interpreters joining the field. I’m trying to become one for crying out loud!

But if that meas I need to apologize for being hearing, something I cannot control, then why the heck would I want to be involved in their culture? Feeling welcome works both ways.

Oddly enough, the attitude doesn’t seem to carry over into actual conversation very often. It’s  usually just in how we’re taught. Hearing students are made to feel ashamed for being hearing.

My teacher mocks one student in my class for signing one sign wrong weeks ago…it’s now her name sign…her mistake. A minor one at that. Somehow, I imagine if I nicknamed a deaf person based on a word they mispronounced, I would be labeled a jerk. But of course, if you’re the victim, it’s perfectly okay.

Do not tell me it’s different. It is completely disrespectful to a hearing person to do this, just as much as a deaf person. My classmate has spent 4 classes, (a whole year’s worth of her life) learning your language, how dare you mock her for one mistake repeatedly and make that her name. And my other classmates are participating in it.

The girl doesn’t even realize  she’s being dissed, though she’s clearly slightly uncomfortable with it, she laughs it off. What else cans eh do?

I hate bullying, and I would never condone bullying a deaf person. But I won’t condone bullying hearing people either,

See, this may shock some people (probably not you readers) but I couldn’t care less about your race, gender, social status, or abilities; if someone is mistreating you, I want it to stop, and if you are mistreating  someone else, I don’t care what you’ve been through, that’s still wrong. And I will want you to stop.

People may hurt each other thinking they are dong the right thing, because they have been hurt before, and it’s up to those of us outside the cycle of pain to sort things out. An impartial person, as it were.

I won’t say I’m that currently, I’m kind of mad over this whole thing. And I think I should be mad, if students are getting shamed for what they did not do and cannot help.

I’m tired of hearing over and over again that certain people groups are oppressed, and yet all I’m seeing is them being extolled, given special funding, and their own clubs, based on how they were born or what they like, and not on their character.

Oh wait…isn’t that what they say white people are like?

Yeah I have news for you, it’s hard all around, I’m having a terrible time getting hired, and I fit the stereotype perfectly for what people consider white privilege…aside from actually being rich, or privileged in any way I can see outside supposedly being looked at differently. I’ve never had this proven to me.

I am lucky I admit, but I don’t really think it has much to do with being white. If it does, it’s not something I can change anyway.

Anyway, what does bug me about this is everyone has to be a victim to be taken seriously now. You have to have “survived” abuse or cancer or bullying, you have to come “from a background where…” and grown up being “treated differently” or you have no right to speak. Conversely, if you have, then you can speak even if what you’re saying is nothing new, and nothing profound.

You know, call me crazy, but I happen to think truth is truth. And if someone who’s had a good life speaks it, it’s still truth. No one should have to earn that right by being put through crap.

Suffering can add weight to your words because some things only become clear to us after we suffer, but suffering itself does not make you profound or wise, only how you handle it.

Like I was thinking to myself while jotting down my notes, I became stronger because I had joy as well as suffering. I hear people talk about pain all the time, not many of the talk about the joy that brought them out of it. It’s like they don’t even find that important, or maybe it never happened.

We have a culture telling us to accept out issues as unchanging part so who we are that we can manage, but we can’t shake.

Because the world has tried and failed to fix things, by psychology, medicine, laws, and self-expression, and failing at that, (since only God can heal us) they decide to just give up and live with he problem.)

And that’s why it would be horrifying to many dead people to be healed. Because they know no other life, and they think this is part of who they are.

I can see the world thinking this, but when Christians start to, it scares me.

We are clearly taught that God heals, restores, and his design for us is to be whole, inside and out, maybe some things do not get healed in this life, and that can be come people’s gift. But it is only a gift because God redeems it, it isn’t a gift in of itself.

It might totally change your life to be healed, because the truth is, we get comfortable with out flaws and weaknesses. Both inward and outward. It can be scary not to be that way.

But God would warn us  not to put our identity in anything that is not of Him. It will always lead to us limiting Him, and then ourselves.

I apologize for the length of this, the title was partly  a warning, I wanted to complete my thoughts–until next time, Natasha.






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