Cheer Me Up

Smile / Library of Congress

Smile / Library of Congress


My aunt says that as she has gotten older, more strangers smile at her in the street, as if they have been taught “old people need to be cheered up because their life must suck.”

Is disability the same?

Are you patronized?

7 Responses to “Cheer Me Up”

  1. Dan Dunn writes:

    Having these two posts consecutively is pretty brilliant. Speaking from the perspective of someone without a disability, of course: In one situation I might be the nice guy offering to hold ice cream. In another situation I’m patronizing.

    I’m always guessing which guy I am.

  2. Jen writes:

    Speaking as someone who does not have a disability, I am trying to be nice, not patronizing. And I try to do it to everyone, no matter their physical, mental, or emotional situation. I guess it’s a rarity these days.

  3. Schu writes:

    I guess that it’s best to be an asshole to everyone. Then you can’t be accused of patronizing.

  4. Evelyn writes:

    I was on the bus the other day and saw a man who had some sort of facial deformity (looked kinda like burn scars) and my instinct was to smile big and then look away. Then I remembered this post and felt bad. I think I was being unconsciously patronizing. Maybe the awareness of this (brought by this blog) will help me in future.

  5. Molly writes:

    I smile at most everyone. I guess some people think I’m patronising. Oh well!

  6. Ginger writes:

    I smile at everyone, a person with a disability is no exception. I think it just depends on the person (on both sides).

  7. Vicki writes:

    It is also possible that people are smiling as much as ever and perception has changed.

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