I haven’t bumped into the Christian Missionary guy since he gave us that note (see previous blog entry). I have had a few people ask how I reacted and what I said to him.
I said nothing. I just acknowledged him and waited for him to leave. Others took the same approach. We, unfortunately, have found ourselves in situations like this more than once.
I was actually impressed that he knew deaf people could read and write. So I do give him props for that.
I do wonder if he was really cured of his allergies and what the full story behind that is.
I can’t help but be curious about those so called cured deaf people. There’s NO cure for hearing loss/deafness no matter how strong your religion beliefs are. I want to meet those people because they’re lying. I want to find out why they lie and give people false hope.
It does give the message that deaf people are not “normal” and that people do feel sorry for us. I’m perfectly fine with being deaf. Sure, there are frustrating moments but that’s life regardless of if you can hear or not. Being deaf is part of who I am and for someone to suggest that being deaf is a “bad” thing makes me wonder how people really truly view deaf people.
Now, I can’t be 100% annoyed with this person. He was doing what he felt was right and he wanted to be helpful. People just don’t always realize that being deaf is not such a horrible thing. People want to be helpful, but they don’t realize that most of the time they’re taking the totally wrong approach. I know he was trying to be helpful according to his own heart and beliefs. I can accept that. I can see the good in that. I’m sure it took some guts on his part to write up that letter and approach 4 strangers.
He wasn’t pushy about it hence there was no reason to really get into a discussion with him. I wanted to relax and so did my friends. None of us wanted to launch into our “let’s educate people” mode. We do need breaks from that mode since we’re almost always in that mode.
Sometimes it is hard to not jump into defensive mode.
If he ever approaches me again, I will likely explain in a friendly way that I’m perfectly happy with being deaf. I will explain that most deaf people are not looking for a cure, instead we want people to accept that it’s okay to be deaf. As much as I hate being approached with things like this, I do try to put a positive spin on it. It’s possible that I might be the only deaf person they come into contact with and they do judge all deaf people based upon one deaf person. Hence, I might mention that it was great he actually wrote down what he wanted to say. Not many people do that or even think to do that.
If for some reason he just can’t accept my explanation then I’ll just take the “respect but ignore” approach with him.
I guess the main thing about this that bothers me is that this attitude is still around. Every time I think society has taken a huge step forward, society takes a few small steps backwards.
When my daughter lost her hearing from meningitis, I had a coworker who informed me that if I had stronger belief, and had prayed harder, her hearing would have been returned to her. Needless to say, that was the last I spoke to that coworker. I still wonder if he has ever found himself in a similar situation, where prayer didn't change medical outcome. Could he pray away a broken leg? That one still steams me.