This podcast dives into emotion and struggle, the humanity within all of us. Whether we recognize it or not, we all share things in common. Strangers is a program that examines true stories and encourages empathy and consideration.
- Podcast: Strangers
- Host: Lea Thau
- Episode frequency: about every 2 weeks
- Episode length: varies, 30-50 min
- Podcast category: Personal Journals
- Podcast website: http://www.kcrw.com/news-culture/shows/strangers
- Favorite episodes:
The Adrian’s Race series. Part One and Part Two are available to stream. There’s at least one more installment to come. I don’t want to spoil the plot, but this story stayed with me. Adrian Wagner, a man losing his vision to a genetic disease explains how he travels around his town, NYC, as well as his search for employment. All while keeping his vision loss, for the most part, a secret. There is so much I could pull from this episode. As the show summary says, “Adrian is 25 and losing his eyesight. He’s in a race against time. He’s also in a battle between humility and pride. When is it stubborn, perhaps even foolhardy, not to make concessions to one’s disability? When is it the only way out? And where do you find wisdom to know the difference?”
Do you listen to Strangers? When faced with a tough situation like gaining a disability, would you keep the secret or would you reach out? How do you judge people with disabilities? I would love for you to listen to the series and let me know your opinions. Tell me about it.
6 Comments Add yours
I can relate. Being that I was afraid of blindness and the stigma attached to it I kept the loss of my vision a secret for a few years. Only those closest to me knew but for the rest of the world, I was scared (still am to some degree) of being taken advantage of, made fun of, feeling vulnerable. I’m going to take a listen to this one.
If you get a chance, let me know what you think of the episode Steph.
I certainly will Susan.
Hi Susan, I wanted to respond back to let you know that I did listen to the Part One on Adrian. I really like the interviewer, Lea Thau. I especially liked it when near the end of the interview they did a real life walk through as her and Adrian were getting ready to part ways.
I agree with some of the commenters who talked about how soothing Adrian’s voice was. As he was talking I was thinking he might want to consider a career in broadcasting. Learning at 12 years of age that he has a serious sight robbing eye disease had to be very traumatic but I have to be honest when I tried to listen to part 2 I was disturbed that there was no followup after this initial diagnosis. Without knowing all the details I wonder why his parents didn’t pursue at least a second opinion. It may not have changed his situation but at the very least another opinion could have backed up the intial one.
I understand Adrian’s need to “fake it” but I had a hard time with his “pretending to be an idiot” philosophy. I think we can all agree that to disclose or not disclose any disability is completely up to the individual and regardless where we stand on the issue it is our business and we do not have to share this with anyone else. But personally I felt like Adrian didn’t give people enough credit should he have opted to share his sight loss with them.
I also wish within the vision loss arena there could be some standardized terminology. At one point when Lea said Adrian wasn’t blind blind (even though we can get what she meant) for me it diminshes the impact of low vision. It seems to many people that unless we are totally blind, then the loss of sight doesn’t impact our lives and of course we know this is a fallacy.
I’m going to try to go back and finish part 2 but I just can’t stomach it at the moment. What were your thoughts? Did you see some of the comments?
Thanks for letting me know your thoughts so far, Steph. I was glued to every word when Lea and Adrian traveled around, too. And, i am in agreement with you on the dilemna of disability secret keeping/farce as an idiot. I did read comments and was pissed about the job interview situation, but part two helped me along there.
I do wish Adrian would have experienced the support of another adult in his life asking for more information/help especially in the immediate time after his diagnosis. Having a strong support from my family and friends allowed me to embrace my vision loss rather than feel pressured to perhaps “wear a mask of confidence and control” while inside you are in turmoil during such an impactful life change. To go without the mask is to put trust in others and their ability to treat you fairly and it frustrates me to hear Adrian doesn’t really take the chance on others in divulging his vision loss to learn and grow with him, for example in the prior jobs he mentioned.
If anything, the series has shed light on how different his social and emotional experience with vision loss is compared to mine. I hope the third installment arrives soon, but if not at least I can live with the reminder everyone reacts to vision loss in his or her own way on his or her own timeframe.
Oh yeah I forgot about about the job but was glad that they changed their mind although I wonder what happened for the change to occur.
It is a good reminder that everyone experiences vision loss differently. For me even though I had a great support system I felt isolated in that they really couldn’t understand what I was going through. It wasn’t until I connected with some of the blind organizations that I’m involved with that things began to change and I felt more accepting of my situation. I too wore the mask but it was because I was afraid of being taken advantage of but in a face to face interaction I didn’t have an issue admitting that I can’t see.