The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #20958   Message #226115
Posted By: McGrath of Harlow
10-May-00 - 07:49 PM
Thread Name: Music and the mentally handicapped
Subject: RE: Music and the mentally handicapped
And here's another story, which goes back to the time I was in a l'Arche Community for a few months many years ago.

It was dinner time, which was a big communal thing, sitting round a big table. One of the high points of the day.

Well, the pudding came around. And there was some mix-up, because a couple of people were serving, and I found myself with two helpings in front of me. And I was just looking down at them with a pleased surprised expression on my face, I suppose. And a helper swooped down and took one of the helpings away.

Well, I didn't really mind, though it was a good pudding. But I must have shown a flicker of dismay, because one of the core members of the community, who'd spent many years in a subnormality hospital (that's another of the charming terms they used to label people with), was watching me. And he came over, and he touched my hand and said "Never mind" (which was a long sentence for him) - and slipped two cigarettes in my breast pocket.

So often people talk as if being sensitive to other people, and aware of how they might be feeling is something that's associated with being clever and competent and so forth. And it's so far from being true it's laughable.