Why is so much “inspirational” material so ableist?

Dissent of a Woman

Let me start by saying that I respect people’s need for re-framing techniques and stress management. I really do. Even people who are mentally and physically average through and through who have no notable impairments whatsoever still get into very bad situations and struggle to cope. I don’t begrudge all of them their coping. However, sometimes their very public displays of coping run headfirst into my coping and others’ coping and make it harder. It is at that point that it becomes a problem.

I will share a few prominent strains of ableism I’m observed in inspirational materials.

1) Erasure of the disabled/the possibility that disability exists

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One graphic, typical of the genre, reads “if you want to be happy, be.” This may make some kind of sense to someone who is psychologically healthy, but is complete balderdash to someone with a painful and severe mental illness.  The assumption that everyone has…

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The Buttefly Effect

I made this picture using GIMP 2.8, most of the work went into making the background seem parchment-y and dirty enough for my taste.

A mountain is composed of tiny grains of earth. The ocean is made up of tiny drops of water. Even so, life is but an endless series of little details, actions, speeches, and thoughts. And the consequences whether good or bad of even the least of them are far-reaching.

– Swami Sivananda