Friday, January 14, 2005

A Mirror of My Deficiency

A man came into my class the other day who seemed so dumb and socially awkward that I felt sorry for him. He just said and did some very dumb things. But even as I felt sorry for him, I also felt, even though I tried to fight it, a measure of contempt for him. I’m sure others in the class must have felt the same, but perhaps not as much as me. Why is that? Because, in more respects than I’d like to admit, I’m a lot like that man, and I don’t like it one bit. I’m dumb in so many ways. By this, I mean that I seem incapable of doing a vast range of things that most people can do quite easily. In fact, there seems to be only one kind of mental task I can do reasonably well and that is use the English language, and even there I have problems. For instance, I can’t make sense of most poetry or visualize most physical descriptions, nor can I follow instructions well. I’m also quite awkward when I try to relate to people socially. Yes, I’m much more like that poor man in class the other day than I’d like to admit, and I feel both sorrow and contempt for both him and me. Actually, I’d like to think that I feel the sorrow for us and the contempt for our mental deficiencies. But how does one ultimately separate the deficiency from the person who’s deficient?

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