The chief misery of the decline of the faculties, and a main cause of the irritability that often goes with it, is evidently the isolation, the lack of customary appreciation and influence, which only the rarest tact and thoughtfulness on the part of others can alleviate.
—Charles Cooley (1864–1929) American Sociologist
I have often been asked, “Do not people bore you?” I do not understand quite what that means. I suppose the calls of the stupid and curious, especially of newspaper reporters, are always inopportune. I also dislike people who try to talk down to my understanding. They are like people who when walking with you try to shorten their steps to suit yours; the hypocrisy in both cases is equally exasperating.
—Helen Keller (1880–1968) American Author
A true friend knows your weaknesses but shows you your strengths; feels your fears but fortifies your faith; sees your anxieties but frees your spirit; recognizes your disabilities but emphasizes your possibilities.
—William Arthur Ward (1921–94) American Author
Chastity is not chastity in an old man, but a disability to be unchaste.
—John Donne (1572–1631) English Poet, Cleric
Disability is a matter of perception. If you can do just one thing well, you’re needed by someone.
—Martina Navratilova (b.1956) Czech-born American Sportsperson
The sense of an entailed disadvantage—the deformed foot doubtfully hidden by the shoe, makes a restlessly active spiritual yeast, and easily turns a self-centered, unloving nature into an Ishmaelite. But in the rarer sort, who presently see their own frustrated claim as one among a myriad, the inexorable sorrow takes the form of fellowship and makes the imagination tender.
—George Eliot (Mary Anne Evans) (1819–80) English Novelist
One always overcompensates for disabilities. I’m thinking of having my entire body surgically removed.
—Douglas Adams (1952–2001) English Novelist, Scriptwriter
The invalid is a parasite on society. In a certain state it is indecent to go on living. To vegetate on in cowardly dependence on physicians and medicaments after the meaning of life, the right to life, has been lost ought to entail the profound contempt of society.
—Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900) German Philosopher, Scholar, Writer