Twice in two days I’ve been called out at the hospital for using the word “handicapped,” instead of “disabled.” I’m sure my lack of respect for political correctness offended the walls. There were no people—handicapped or not—within hearing distance—only walls.
The U.S., where I’m from and where I grew up, passed the Americans With Disabilities Act in 1990, but signs remain intact for handicap parking. The only complaints seem to be about non-handicapped folks being lazy and inconsiderate and parking in handicapped spaces, and these folks are so thoughtless that they would treat a “disabled” sign the same way.
My car is disabled when it won’t run. It is totally unable. I was never disabled when I spent two years on crutches—but I was handicapped by the challenges of going up and down steps, etc.
If I needed to choose between the words handicapped and disability for one of my books, I would write, “She was handicapped by her small size and lack of height.” I would not write, “She was disabled by her small size and lack of height.” She’s not disabled, for heaven’s sake—she just can’t reach the top shelf!
Handicap: disadvantage, challenged.
Disability: incapacitated, impaired.
I don’t find the word handicapped offensive; I find the word disabled offensive. Handicapped means it’s difficult; disabled means it’s impossible.
And I especially find political correctness offensive.
People need to get real. They need to sail out of their comfort zones each morning with an attitude of doing something to make the world a better place even if it’s just smiling—rather than creeping out to look around warily and discover what offends them today.
Enough, already! Handicapped, disabled. They are just words. Words are what people make them. Only God’s words are eternal.
Proverbs 30:5 in the Bible promises, “Every word of God is pure.”
People muck them up.
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4 thoughts on “Enough, Already!”
I agree with you 100%, Steph. Perfect examples. This is a subject that really gets my Irish temper fuming.
Enough with the politically correctness. There are much more important things to worry about, like where someone will spend eternity!
Everyone is so up in the air about using the correct term and not being offensive with words today it’s out of hand. What about the words that have been changed to mean other things that used to be wonderful words to use. Words like gay, which has been changed to mean something entirely different. Leave our words alone.
I’m sick of this politically correct society where you have to weigh your sentences in public. I don’t, and I won’t. Let them get mad. Just because we are Christians doesn’t mean we have to kowtow to everyone, or that we can’t give it right back to them when they ask for it. Look what Jesus did to the moneychangers in the temple. They were wrong too.
Exactly, Sharon. Thank you. I had a lovely friend in high school named Gay. I’ve often wondered if her name has caused her grief. Like you, I refuse to kowtow to the PC crowd. God bless.
Good for your, Steph. Our Lord never backed down when he faced evil in the world, and neither should we. We only need to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves, as it says in Matthew 10:16.
Amen, Sharon. Amen,