I want to forewarn you that this post is going to include some ranting and will probably offend some people. I am sorry if that offends you but I need to speak my mind on this topic.
People who don’t come here often probably don’t know that I am deaf. I went deaf about thirty years ago from a congenital disease. Before you ask, no a cochlear implant is not a possibility for me. When I started going deaf I was first exposed to the “Deaf” community (with a capital D”. To them being deaf is something to be celebrated! Most but by no means all of the Deaf community were born deaf. But there are some who, like me, went deaf later in life. In large cities they form their own communities; often living close to each other and pretty much stay within that community. Many have as little to do with the hearing world as possible.
My hearing loss was a gradual thing that started in my college years and resulted in a total loss of hearing about twenty years later. I looked into the possibility of joining the Deaf community but decided it wasn’t for me. Yes, it might have been easier to just give up on living with the 99% who are not deaf. Communications certainly would have been easier but that is not a road I chose. The Deaf community like everything else has its dark side. To me part of that dark side is that they consider giving a child a cochlear implant in order to allow him to hear is child abuse. They say it denies him his deaf culture! They treat their disability as something to be cherished, not to be overcome. I simply don’t see it that way. I have maintained my life in the hearing world and will continue to do so for the rest of what remains of it.
This discussion brings in a wider topic. I recently saw and advertisement on one of the cable TV channels about a new program that celebrates obesity. Since for the most part obesity is a self-inflicted thing that greatly increases your likelihood of heart disease and other serious health conditions I can’t understand celebrating it. Maybe it is just too hard for some to tackle their extreme overweight condition so they rationalize.
It seems strange that we are now starting to treat our disabilities and person failures as something to celebrate. But maybe it is just easier, you might say lazier, to do that. Rationalization is a strong thing.