Dangerous Compassions



Hello, how are you doing?  I’ve been thinking a lot about disability, worth, how all bodies are valid bodies, and what disabled people are denied in an ableist world.  I started making a checklist in my head, of people who could be considered lesser than.  I will write it for you here.


Do you think you’re better than…

  • people who can see or hear less than you can?
  • people with Down’s syndrome, developmental disabilities, or considered slow?
  • homeless people?
  • hungry people who miss meals from poverty?
  • people who use wheelchairs?  crutches?  other assistive devices?
  • essential workers?
  • rich people?
  • recreational shoppers?
  • anyone who has fewer teeth than you do?
  • people who are fatter than you?  very fat?  fat and unable to walk?  unable to buy clothes in a store like Target?
  • parents?  non-parents?
  • prisoners?
  • people who can read less than you can?
  • farm workers?
  • people who use substances like alcohol and drugs?  people with alcohol or drug problems?  addicts?  hardcore addicts?
  • autistic people, people with ADHD?
  • people with psychiatric diagnoses?
  • vegans, vegetarians, omnivores, people who eat fast food, people who eat refined sugar, fruititarians, people who eat junk food, or anyone who eats differently than you do?
  • sex workers?  strippers?  cammers?
  • people who are Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, pagan, Hindu, atheist, agnostic, humanist, Jainist, Sihk, new age, folk religion, Catholic, Voodoo, Santeria, Shinto, Confucian, LDS, Jehovah’s Witness, UU, Pentecostal, or any religion / non-religion other than yours?
  • day laborers?
  • people of a different race or ethnicity than you?
  • people who are gay, lesbian, trans, queer, nonbinary, bisexual, pansexual, asexual, aromantic, agender, genderqueer, or any sexuality, gender, or nongender other than yours?
  • children?  elders?  babies?  very old people?
  • dying people?
  • Democrats, Republicans, anarchists, Socialists, Communists, Nazis?
  • cops, prison guards, la migra, ICE, TSA, rent a cops?
  • politicians?
  • graffiti artists?
  • gang members?
  • people with eating disorders?
  • people who encourage other people who have eating disorders?
  • people who drool?  have seizures?  wear helmets?  can’t talk?
  • unemployed people?
  • activists?  activists who risk arrest?  animal liberators?  tree sitters?
  • nudists?
  • drone pilots?  military workers?
  • vaxers, antivaxxers, conspiracy theorists, q-anon, trumpers, incels?
  • terrorists?  bioterrorists?
  • sexual assaulters?  serial sexual assaulters?  child molesters?  sex trafficers?  pimps?
  • homeschoolers?
  • people who breastfeed their kids, people who breastfeed their kids a long time, people who use formula?
  • sports fans?
  • people with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, lyme disease, long covid, narcolepsy?
  • people who hear voices such as myself?

“Do you know any groups that get hated on a lot?” I asked.

“Jealousy,” Ming said.

“They hate people who they’re jealous of?” I said.

“Yeah,” Ming said.  “Like you’re able to do this thing that I can’t do, and I hate you for it.”

We had a whole conversation about it, in the Ojai library reading room.  Dang, their air conditioning is good.

my answer

I’m thinking about my answer, with what level of honesty.  Do I think I’m better than Nazis?  Yes, I think so.

Of course it’s a question of what “better than” means.  Honestly I think I’m better than ICE people also.  And bioterrorists.  Pimps too.  That whole sexual assault category.

Should I work on that?  Are bioterrorists a waste of resources?  Or is every bioterrorists just a lover who hasn’t learned how to love yet?  People do change–I’ve seen it.

thank you

Thank you for enjoying this thought experiment with me.  I used to think I was better than lots of people.  Homeless people, illiterate people, suits.  I thought feeling good about myself necessitated seeing myself as doing ok in a social ranking.  Being better than other people was necessary.  When I was young, I got what little self-worth feeling I had from being smart.  So I thought I was better than people who were less creative, curious, and languagey than me.

Now I understand that thinking I’m better than other people isn’t a way to help myself or anyone.  Love is the only solution.  Being conceited isn’t a way to heal.  I don’t want to push anyone down–I want to build everyone up.

It’s like liberation–liberation without bringing everyone else with me isn’t liberation at all.

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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