The Power of Words. ~ Alicia Wozniak {Video}

Via on Jan 3, 2014

blind

“I wrote the same, but different words.”

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Editor: Bryonie Wise

About Alicia Wozniak

Alicia Wozniak was born and raised in Cleveland. “Woz” now lives in Tampa, with the rest of Ohio. This 40 year old can be found teaching Zumba, all over Facebook, figuring out Twitterblogging, and working her full time gig in a marketing division of a textbook publisher. She wonders how many jobs she really needs. If she isn’t moving, she’s unconscious. Life, which includes a Weez, is good and as long as the beer is cold and it isn’t snowing, she’ll keep moving forward—Xanax close at hand.

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One Response to “The Power of Words. ~ Alicia Wozniak {Video}”

  1. maggiebea says:

    I love the new words. It's a touching video. Don't get me wrong, I loved it the first time I saw it (maybe last year sometime?).

    But I've been learning some new things lately and re-evaluating several relationships in my life. And now I have a question:

    Do none of us see the boundary violations here?

    The wonderfully generous, beautifully able-bodied passerby doesn't speak to the man sitting on the sidewalk, even though she knows (because his sign tells her) that he can't see her. Wouldn't she say 'Hello' to anyone else in an ordinary context?

    The generous, able-bodied passerby perhaps has a background in advertising or marketing; perhaps her notion of her own expertise is what leads her to act so confidently to change his sign to something that – demonstrably, according to the video – is so much more effective.

    How interesting that neither she nor we notices that the man sitting on a sidewalk begging mat probably has some expertise in blindness and in beggarhood. Not that 'begging' is the only job a blind man can get, though clearly that is what we viewers are expected to think. In this video, the young, elegant businesswoman's expertise is supposed to 'obviously' trump the blind beggar's expertise. Even though it's his life she's interfering in.

    And she doesn't even ask him before she changes something that's his. Let me be crystal clear: the video wants us to see a man sitting on the street who owns so little that he's begging for spare change with a tin can and a cardboard sign. But this well-dressed, comparatively rich person feel free to pick up and alter one of his very few possessions. And she doesn't even ask his permission.

    She messes with his stuff, and then she walks away without a word. He has a good day of collecting money, and when he recognizes her (by touching her shoes? are we really to believe that a longtime blind person didn't recognize her by the sound and cadence of her walk and the smell of her perfume, hair and body?) he asks her for more information: "What did you do to my sign?"

    And then, from her place of all this privilege, she doesn't tell him. Or, she tells him something inspiring for us. But she doesn't answer his question. He wants to know what the sign says, or whether she drew hearts and flowers on it, or what. Bear in mind that he can't see it, so all day he has been sitting next to something that has an obvious effect on his life, and it belongs to him, but he doesn't know what it says.

    And when he asks, she doesn't tell him.

    Could we at least take a moment to wonder what that models to privilege people (like us) about appropriate behavior toward those we consider 'less' in some way? Could we at least take a moment to ask how we would like to be treated if we were sitting on that mat?

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