I told him that those things didn’t make him “useless” and that he did contribute to the world around him

But something he said during our conversation disturbed me.

I asked how he was doing, and his answer—as it often is—was “Better than I deserve.” But as we talked more, he expressed his frustration that at his age and ability, he was a “useless eater.” I was stunned that he used the term and it’s one that I loathe because it reflects a philosophy that was prevalent in Nazi Germany regarding persons with disabilities. 

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