Staring can be caused by a variety of things and the relationship between the one person or thing being stared at and the one doing the staring is an instantaneous one. How or if that relationship revolves depends on the give and take between the two individuals. We tend to stare because something takes us by surprise. We stare at things that catch our eye because they are distinctly different than what we have come to expect from our environment. Staring is the way people attempt to understand something that we find interesting. We stare because we are looking for something new and exciting to learn from while at the same time we find comfort in predictability.
The stigma our society places on staring has negative consequences. We are taught to fit in with society and their rules from an early age because it will bring us happiness and or success. We dislike showing weaknesses and as a result people with disabilities are often covered up or hidden. As the reading points out we consider people with disabilities as tragic and segregate them in schools, asylums, hospitals or nursing homes. It is sad that we live in a world where we fail to recognize sickness as a part of living and choose to oppress those who appear to be different. We look at people in order to get cues about who they are without actually knowing them so unfortunately it is in our nature to come to unfair conclusions about someone’s morals, past or personality just based on what we see.
Staring can be a positive thing because it brings people closer together and usually leads to some sort of follow up form of communication. Staring is also positive because things that challenge societies views of what is normal cause us to slowly evolve and become more open minded. We fear what we do not understand but staring is the first step to understanding something and once we learn more about what we do not understand we can learn to appreciate it. Staring is caused by something being out of place or “wrong” and once we recognize that we have the power to either fix the situation to help it fit into society or we can accept it for being different and by accepting it, placement in society will be found. From a comfort standpoint, staring establishes individual roles in society and gives us the stability and order we need to make sense in our lives.