Yesterday’s post was all about spin and how we too often try to reimage something because makes us uncomfortable. It was primarily about the fact that we need to dispell the myth instead of just re-naming the condition. Today I want to talk about why this topic is so important to me.
As I have often said, being deaf is a major part of my life but it is not what I am about. I almost never say I am a deaf man but instead say I am a man who is deaf. There is a critical difference between the two. If I allow my deafness to define my life then what I am doing is to make it the central focus. Instead, I will define myself as:
- A follower of Jesus
- A creative person
- A history buff
- A person who enjoys adventurous things
- An avid writer/blogger
- An avid photographer
- A teacher of coping with challenging circumstances
Somewhere far down the line would be deafness. In the area of deafness, I strive to teach others who might be just starting their journey that they are not alone and that their deafness does not have to define them or limit them to any extent. Yes, it places challenges in their life but nothing that can’t be overcome.
I don’t think things have changed that much when it comes to medical authorities giving a person who is suddenly deaf, resources to cope. The hearing professionals in my day simply said: “We can’t help you anymore so, goodbye”. I was left on my own to figure out where to go from there.
Another reason I am generally against reimaging is Google. If I want to learn something about this topic would I google “deaf” or “sudden loss of hearing”? I don’t think there is any disagreement as to that answer. When I went deaf in 1988 the Internet was in its infancy. There were no major news sites and Google was decades away. America-On-Line (AOL) was just starting out. I struggled for weeks trying to find anything I could use to help me cope with becoming deaf.
Now with the Internet, if I know the right terms and they haven’t been reimaged I can find a myriad of sources of information about any topic. I hope that there are some who google “deaf” that happen to be pointed to RJsCorner and learn a little from my experiences with deafness. Most importantly, I hope they learn that they are not alone out there. I struggled with that cruel idea for quite some time!
Closing up this two-part post, we need to do whatever we can to dispell myths that have grown up around too many topics. We can’t let just give into myths and let them stand as somehow being insurmountable. Dispelling myths is an underlying reason for RJsCorner even if I don’t directly say that enough.