“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.” George Orwell

Friday, May 11, 2007

"Don't hate the player, hate the game"

"Don't hate the player hate the game" is a saying that you will sometimes hear people say. The idea is, for example, good looking guys tend to date good looking girls. That is just the way it is. So I shouldn't hate a good looking guy (the player) because the good looking girls like him. I might hate the fact, however, that good looking girls and good looking guys like each other (the game).

So what could this possibly have to do with disability... bear with me.

It seems in society today people with disabilities are ostracized, and misunderstood, and just generally not treated very well. At least not as well as those without disabilities (the game). I hate the game. I hate the fact that that is the way of the world. But should I not also hate the player?

My faith is clear that I shouldn't hate anybody, so I do my best not to. But if the player says that I treat people the way I do without thinking, because that is the way I have been socialized he is worthy of disdain.

At the recent Social Role Valorization training I attended, Dr. Wolfensberger stated the following:
Collective unconsciousness can be so vast that even the most global
societal policies may be undeclared, unexplicated, unacknowledged, and even
denied. Thus for many people to all work toward a bad thing requires no
deliberate or conscious conspiracy. While this is well-known by social
scientists, most citizens are not aware of how they themselves can be totally
unconsciously acting out undeclared, large-scale, societal policies in their own
daily lives (from "A leadership-oriented introductory social role valorization
(SRV) workshop, February 27, 2007)

It is one thing to recognize the game and just shrug your shoulders and say, don't hate the player, hate the game. It is quite another to be a player in the game and be so unaware that you are working toward a bad thing. To be unaware and yet working on the side of the bad thing. Churches need to wake up to their participation in the bad thing. Discrimination is the way things are, it is the game, but players have a choice to play or not in the discrimination game.

Changing the game begins when you wake up as a player.



Julie said...

Very thought provoking post. It reminds me of the verse from 2 Corinthians, "We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ." (chapter 10, verse 5)

We all have hidden assumptions that we should evaluate against scripture.

I found your blog while random clicking through Christian Women Online. Someone had nominated your site for a thinking blogger award.

I am the mother of a child with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. Since most of her signs are behavioral and many people in the church tie these behaviors to sin, I have found little understanding and support through the body of Christ. I admire what you are doing through your blog.

I have subscribed to your feed on bloglines. I never feel comfortable doing that without introducing myself... I feel like a cyber stalker. :o)

Jeff McNair said...

I appreciate your comments and the introduction!

Impossibleape said...

This indeed is another wonderful thought.

Glad to hear you were nominated for an award

this is a place of deep thinking expressed with deceptiviely simple yet powerful stories and insights

your story is sad but probably shared by many families with disabled children
that is one of the reasons Jeff's work is so important