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I was absolutely flabbergasted to hear that people are upset with Jerry Lewis for his telethon to raise money for muscular dystrophy. Are we to stop all charitable works now because it somehow belittles the people we are trying to help? How ridiculous.

Where would this world be if we no longer had humanitarian causes to be engaged in? I suppose these dissenters think we should close all homeless shelters and soup kitchens (why demean the down-and-out by assuming they need charity?) and do away with programs like the United Way. Let everyone pay his or her own way and if they can't, well, isn't that too bad, we'll just let them suffer.If someone needs a wheelchair and can't afford it, golly gee, that's sad, but we mustn't demean them by donating money to help them. It might hurt their poor nonexistent self-esteem.

I say nonexistent because I'm willing to bet that the people who are complaining are not the ones who take their disability in stride and work hard and succeed and feel good about themselves in spite of everything, because such people are generally gracious about accepting help when it is needed. It's the "pity poor me" types who are oversensitive and have chips on their shoulders.

I think the Americans with Disabilities Act is a good thing because disabled people do need to feel accepted and valued, and I can understand why they want to be treated with respect instead of being treated "different." But let's not let things get out of hand. Don't put down a man who has given of his time and talents for years to help those less fortunate than himself. Accept that help graciously.

Sharee Hughes

Salt Lake City