FW: WHEN I WHINE..... Beautiful

Lord, forgive me while I vomit all over my laptop, for I have read this forward and.. bleagh, bleahgh!

---begin forwarded message---

When I Whine
Today, upon a bus, I saw a girl with golden hair
I looked at her and sighed and wished I was as fair.
When suddenly she rose to leave,
I saw her hobble down the aisle.
She had one leg and used a crutch
But as she passed, she passed a smile.
Oh, God, forgive me when I whine
I have 2 legs, the world is mine.
I stopped to buy some candy
The lad who sold it had such charm
I talked with him a while, he seemed so very glad
If I were late, it'd do no harm.
And as I left, he said to me,
"I thank you, you've been so kind.
It's nice to talk with folks like you.
You see," he said, "I'm blind."
Oh, God, forgive me when I whine.
I have 2 eyes, the world is mine.
Later while walking down the street,
I saw a child with eyes of blue
He stood and watched the others play
He did not know what to do.
I stopped a moment and then I said,
"Why don't you join the others, dear?"
He looked ahead without a word.
And then I knew, he couldn't hear.
Oh, God, forgive me when I whine.
I have 2 ears, the world is mine.
With feet to take me where I'd go.
With eyes to see the sunset's glow.
With ears to hear what I would know.
Oh, God, forgive me when I whine.
I've been blessed indeed, The world is mine.
If this poem makes you feel like I felt,
just forward it to your friends,
after all, it's just a simple reminder....
We have soooooo much to be thankful for!!!
Sorrow looks back,
Worry looks around,
Faith looks up.


Anonymous said...

So much to be thankful for...for instance, that you're not one of those crippled, deaf bastards whom god hates for some reason.

Anonymous said...

This email is religious. But it's not right wing in any way. I don't see why anyone would find this particularly troubling. Trite, perhaps. But really, what's supposed to be wrong with it?

Anonymous said...

what's supposed to be wrong with it?

Heh. Try asking someone who's blind, deaf or on crutches how they feel about this gruesome thing. I think the typical answers will surprise you.

Also, I like how it says "forward to your friends!" with this kind of blithe assumption that none of your friends are disabled.

Anonymous said...

This is a fabulous site. You deserve to have lots more commenters than you have. Because this stuff is really thought provoking. I think the offensive thing about this email lies, as anonymous said, in its treacly sentimental assumption that one leg, or blindness, or any other minor disablement is really here as a kind of reminder to "perfect" but whiny people--as though they are the real protagonists and the "cripples" are just here to remind us not to complain.

And what is the function of the admonition not to complain. If you take god out of the mix the poet is reminding us that *things could always be worse*--you could be like that crippled guy and *no one would want to be like that!* which is pretty sick. If you put god back into the mix, as the "faith looks up" remark tells us to, then it seems to me that the function of the poem is to try to let god off the hook for people's real problems because, the poet tells us, things could always get a lot worse. Stop thinking about yourself, the poem seems to say, or things *will* get a lot worse.

Ostensibly the poem says that whatever your problems are they aren't *as bad* as losing sight, or one leg, and should be borne cheerfully (like the cripples in the poem) because it would be embarrassing for you, with your perfect life, to complain in front of people who are *really badly off* when they aren't complaining. But what if you have a real problem, or a real grief, like a dying child, or a horrible job, or an ongoing war, or something like that? Is the poet suggesting that you use the same "well, there are people worse off than me" line to feel better about things? Maybe you aren't supposed to just feel better comparatively but to *do something* about your problems. I think that the poet carefully choses the examples to make it somethign that you can't do anything about because that feeds into a kind of christian theme of resignation and self abnegtion which isn't necessarily the healthiest response to most of people's problems.

Interesting and thought provoking.


Kellygorski said...

"With ears to hear what I would know"??????

At least they need to try making sense once in awhile. Faith may be a disease of the mind, but for crying out loud, does it have to catalyze stupidity masked as complex thought?! Ugh.

Michael said...

Sorrow looks back.
Worry looks around.
Faith looks up.
Competence looks forward.

Anonymous said...

My reply, were it sent to me:

"I totally agree: health care for all children should be our biggest priority."


angryyoungwoman said...

Well, I'm disabled and I just LOVE the thought that I'm placed here on earth only so others can feel better about their miserable lives. I love that if I ever feel discouraged or depressed the natural assumption is that my disability "has got me down." I love that I was brought up with the belief (before my family knew I would end up with a disability) that we should feel sorry for disabled women because no one wants to marry them. Poor, helpless women like me. Poems like this just feed into that idea--disabled people are helpless, disabled people have no control, disabled people are here as an example of what COULD happen to you. When you are only an example, YOU AREN'T REAL.

angryyoungwoman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Gosh this makes me feel so sorry for all those who have nothing to be thankful for...

Tera said...

The world is mine.

Spoken with true ableist privilege (or any other kind of privilege, for that matter).

JohnnyRidden said...

This is the reason why so many despise christians.
Your average 12th century Christian monk would still consider all these curses (sins of the father and all those other superstitious beliefs), but they would offer to take the place of the cripple's crutch until they reached their destination, try writing or gesturing to aid the deaf person, and take the hand of the blind person and say "If you ever need a guide..."
It seems as we get more 'tolerant' of other religions, we get less tolerant of actual breathing life. It's not a "Barbie world", as Aqua sang, but a bubble-world, and woe be unto those who would burst the bubble of the joyous with a terrifying dose of reality. I guess this is why I so enjoy being old-fashioned enough to adopt the fashions and mannerisms of my ancestors and their courts. I do not understand how many find this mindset acceptable when a little more effort would push condescension to compassion. And no throwing money and food at it doesn't count.

Unknown said...

Lots of great comments... This kind of "thank Jesus I'm not a cripple" line of thinking reminds me of the "hate the sin, not the sinner" condescension of homophobia.

I was talking about this with my roommate the other night. We're both straight single guys, and I was saying that I feel bad for the young gay people trapped in the Mormon or other kinds of Christian fundamentalist beliefs where their homosexuality is a terrible curse and burden that afflicts only some people, who have to struggle against it their entire lives while their (biologically) heterosexual peers are all happily pursuing their romantic (and sexual) interests. The suicide rate among young homosexuals is higher in this country due to this societal pressure, not some "dangerousness" of the "gay lifestyle".

If you're a heterosexual guy, you can smugly sit back and pat yourself on the back. I can be "not gay" 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and since it's easy for me to not be gay, I can have some condescending pity for the poor "queers" who can't help themselves.

OTOH, if I was a repressed closet case, what a terrible burden to place on one's own psyche, to have one's deepest attractions be towards those of the gender that God will punish you forever in hell for pursuing.

So it's a disability of their own making, which makes it even more pathetic. As an "out" atheist, I would like to think that if I was gay, I would be happily out about that too, because life is too short to be placing yourself in these categories and pitying/shunning those who don't fit the "perfect" mold that God, from 2000+ years ago, has ordained for all time.

Wouldn't a more inspiring poem have been about "if I only had one leg, I would go get a prosthetic one, or join a wheelchair basketball team or something".. Ok, it'd make a terrible poem, but it'd be a more inspiring secular response to the passive treacle of this one.

Emma Matthews said...

Almost as puke-inducing as that other god-awful poem "Heaven's Very Special Child".

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