You Are Entitled To Your Crutch

This was originally posted in May 2015 and it still has relevance.

Snowbird of Paradise fell over the other day. It was both bewildering and embarrassing at the same time. I somehow tripped on a curb while crossing a road. It left me winded and bruised, but otherwise OK—except for the nagging suspicion that it was karma. Only a few days earlier I had been giving someone a hard time for not using a walking cane, and here I was obviously in need of one myself. The trouble is, the whole idea of using a support of any kind comes with baggage.

The stick we use to support ourselves when we are injured is a crutch, and there is nothing negative about that, except that the same word has been frequently used to castigate people who have other human failings. If someone abuses alcohol, for example, we say they are using it as a psychological crutch. When an unemployed person depends on money from…

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