Around this time of year of gathering with family and friends, some people are invisible to the outside world. They lurk in the shadows but do not join in the festivities.
Those people we shun and put away and shut the door to reality. Sure we feed them some crumbs of society that makes us feel better like giving to the local orchestra or SPCA.
Idiot, simple minded, disable, imbecile, retard, feeble minded, dumb, mental deficiency… all names used through the ages to describe people who are sons and daughters of some parents who could not adjust beyond the normal.
These are the people we do not want to see at the country club. These are the people we do not want dating our daughter. These are the people who take longer to do the job or finish the schoolwork. Society declares that these are the different people.
With all the other painful words we use to describe what we don’t understand; these words are also used as a social deterrent. Kids on the schoolyard are called these words to shame them. If he or her missed a foursquare bounce they are an “idiot”. If he or her misses a arithmetic answer they are “simple minded”. If he or her strikes out they are a “retard” or if he or she makes a bad move in Monopoly it is called a “dumb” move.
As we grow up; these words are replaced by (what is called) “curse words”. In proper conversation; none of these words are used but somehow we pick them up. Each gets a reaction so we keep using them.
Some grow out of the use of these words to express themselves and some make it part of our daily communication. Some are still expressions to emphasize a point and some are just used when a hammer hits our finger.
With all the veterans coming home wounded with sorts of ailment, do we describe them as “feeble”? Instead, we call them “heroes”.
And as we get older and our bodies do not respond the way they used to, we become what is called “feeble”. Weakness of body brings us new challenges. Old age also brings us whole new sets of harmful words.
Old, aged, decrepit, weak, weakly, weakened, frail, infirm, delicate, sickly, ailing, unwell, poorly, enfeebled, enervated, debilitated, incapacitated, decrepit, etiolated, challenged, disabled, incapacitated, invalid, paralyzed, broken-down, decrepit; impotent, powerless; breakable, flimsy, fragile, dizzy, groggy, rocky, rickety, unsteady, woozy, drained, exhausted, flagging, tired, weary, worn-out, damaged, harmed, hurt, impaired, injured, lame, unsound, resistless, susceptible, vulnerable, yielding… call your grandmother one of these.