What Do We Do Next?

Sign on a computer that says, This machine is a Server! Do Not Power Down!
Don’t Turn Off the Server!

Some ways to think about how we might create useful change:

  • Within the Shell of the Old: We don’t have the option of either taking over control of the levers of society or starting from scratch to assure our survival as a community. The disability community’s dependence on the health care system and our sensitivity to small changes in our ability to access our community mean that whatever we do, we will need stability in supports every second of every day for the near term. We must build what we need within the current system of supports.
  • Getting Good at Change: We can get good at change by practicing change in small ways as an ongoing part of our self-support and advocacy. Often, it is so tiresome to simply get through the day, that we default to dependence on systems of support even though we know those systems can and will change without notice. This habit means, though, that we will not be able to respond to the truly unpredictable because we will have no experience of creating successful change on the fly. This means that we must build our general ability to accept and act on the necessity of change long before all hell breaks loose.
  • The Commanding Beliefs of the American People: These beliefs were a part of the assumptions that Americans made about what change could mean. In many ways, we no longer believe them, and the erosion of these assumptions increases a little every day:
    • Everything is Possible.
    • Vast problems can be solved if broken up into pieces and addressed one by one.
    • Ordinary men and women contain within themselves, individually and collectively, the constructive genius with which to craft such solutions.
  • Personalism: For at least the last 7,000 years, we have lived with the good and the bad of the institution of states that control the creation and distribution of those resources we need to live. Over the millennia, there has been an ongoing battle at every level of society between the value of each person in themselves and the use of each person by the elites in the various states.

    Personalism is the philosophy (sometimes religious, sometimes not) that society should support the freedom and choice of each individual to craft their unique lives. We don’t actually need a philosophy or ideology of personalism (in fact, I think that would be a repetition of the errors mentioned earlier), but we do need to internalize in ourselves and build into the future we create, the values that the disability community has discovered to be the basis for freedom and choice. This model is the idea of using accommodation to each of our individual characteristics to expand the possibilities of our futures.

Author: disabilitynorm

hubby2jill, 2dogs, advocate45+yrs, change strategist, trainer, geezer, pa2Loree, gndpa2Nevin

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