We have tried to describe the inner feelings of those who cannot speak for themselves: those silenced by domination, slowed by mental handicap, disturbed by mental illness, and bowed by the ravages of poverty and the lack of opportunity to feel one with others. Yet hope and resilience abide as they withstand isolation, seclusion, chemicals, restraint, and punishment. Few of us could resist so many years of oppression and human denial Few could tolerate programs and services endowed with a pathology of compliance and a fetish for “appropriate” behaviors. To be marginalized is more than a clinical status; it is a social condition in which people are pushed and pulled to the outer edges of community, to a point so distant that it is no longer community. Prejudice, categorizations, and technology are the instruments that force people to this extremity of the human condition. They are pushed with cattle prods or pulled with restraint devices. Or, more commonly, their hope is taken away by someone’s distancing words, cold touch, and empty gaze. We then wonder why their aggression is so severe, their self-injury so violent, or their withdrawal so deep.
KeywordsHuman Condition Mutual Change Human Interdependence Human Denial Institutionalize Violence
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