Mail (November, 1998)

Bad Attitude
from Deb

I honestly don't see anything humerous about psoriasis. It is very humiliating. -Deb

*****

Ed's Response: Dear Readers (Deb's probably not reading this): A few times a year—surprisingly few—I get shame-on-you e-mail like this. While I'm too old to feel compelled to defend myself against any of it (because this page, like most things "web," is a take-it-or-leave-it proposition), I am sensitive enough to always pause and try to consider why these people take the time to discipline me.

I decided to share this particular piece from the thin shame-on-you pile because it suggests one of two possible bad attitudes that warrant reciprocal shame-on-yous.

I think Deb suffers from one of two possible bad attitudes. No matter which of these bad attitudes applies, the offending statement from Deb's e-mail is: "It is very humiliating."

Bad Attitude Number One (if DEB is NOT a psoriatic, but is sympathetic to psoriatics and thinks psoriasis is no joking matter): It is a joking matter. Humor is mankind's greatest defense mechanism. It is the armor of the soul. When all else fails, sane laughter alone is what separates those who possess souls from all that which is soulless. In fact, humor is such a precious and powerful defense mechanism that I believe it is the purest manifestation of our spirituality. We come closest to revealing our souls when we smile or laugh. It can, however, be abused and misused—especially when it is substituted for more appropriate reaction. I'm sure I've crossed this line more than a time or two, and earned a few shame-on-yous in the process. But in general I would say facing life with an incurable skin condition warrants the best defense we can mount; smiling to find and show the soul surviving within is in order.

Bad Attitude Number Two (if Deb IS a psoriatic and is humiliated by this fact): Poor Deb has confused her skin for her soul. Her life is but skin deep. Somebody reach over and give her a good tickle. Deb (if you are reading this): Lighten up! -Ed

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