On “Confessions of a Deaf Girl Who Had an Audistic Attitude”
Blogger Zoee Nuage wrote her own personal story about how she used to look down upon Deaf ASL users but then came to change her attitudes.
It’s a long story, but an eloquent and interesting one. I like it because Zoee Nuage is a good example of someone who strives to examine her own attitudes and assumptions toward other people in a very honest way. This kind of self-exploration can sometimes mean confronting some very uncomfortable truths about ourselves. But the results can be very positive both for society (if we succeed in changing our own attitudes) and for ourselves (in that we learn about ourselves and maybe become better people for it).
Most of us in today’s society say we want to eradicate prejudice and discrimination. Typically, this involves advocating for change in society–for example, through educating OTHERS about diversity, or asking OTHERS to change policies and laws to accommodate a diverse population. These are vital components of any movement for social change. But, ultimately, social change only happens when each of us comes to take responsibility for OURSELVES and our OWN attitudes and behavior.
Mahatma Ghandi used the phrase, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” His grandson, Arun Ghandi, continues to teach this philosophy today (explore his web site at www.gandhiinstitute.org/). In Ghandi’s philosophy, this phrase is usually used to mean: If you want to live in a nonviolent world, you must begin by examining your own behavior and avoiding violent acts. (Both Mahatma and Arun Ghandi use a very broad definition of the word “violent” that most Americans probably aren’t used to. So being “nonviolent,” in the Ghandi philosophy, means far, far more than “don’t hit people.”)
In the context of fighting prejudice, the “Be the change…” phrase could be extended to mean: If you want to live in a world in which every person is judged on who they are, and not what labels they wear, then you must begin by examining your own attitude to eradicate prejudice within yourself.
See Zoee Nuage’s story at: http://znuage.blogspot.com/2006/11/confessions-of-deaf-girl-who-had.html