Saturday, October 11, 2014

Not Dependent or Independent But Inter-dependent

It is my contention that no one is independent. Not you, not I, there is no such thing as a self-made millionaire.  The reality of human society is that we are all dependent upon each other.  Mutual interdependence is not a theory but a reality.  This is why (for me) the entire concept of dis-ability. A disability is 
"a Latin prefix used in the English language meaning “apart,” “asunder,” “away,” “utterly,” or having a privative, negative, or reversing force (see de-, un-2.); used freely, especially with these latter senses, as an English formative: disability; disaffirm; disbar; disbelief; discontent; dishearten; dislike; disown."
Seeing someone disabled, then is unable, or unabled more accurately.  How is it that I am "unable" when I am "able" of so much?

We live in the illusion of independence...


No human being is an entirely independent entity.  For example, I depend upon the electric company who powers the computer I am writing this on.  The engineers getting paid to provide me electricity and keep it coming, depends upon his paycheck to put his special needs child in school.

Some might call this idealistic, or "human" but we see interdepedence all throughout the created world, there is no where it does not exist.

Juxtapose independence  and we find it to be a modern phenomenon, a psychological, social, political and life ideology that has no reality in human or animal life.  We are all dependent upon each other

In much the same way, humanity has embraced the concept of the "dis-abled" or unable, abnormal, doesn't quite fit in so is not included with the abled category.

There are many disabled folks that worship at the altar of independence, but what is it exactly?

 Many are concerned with "helping people with disabilities achieve their highest level of independence." But, I ask who determines what the highest level is?  Just what is that?  We all have our different definitions and need not be put in neat small boxes.  Our potentials are actually unlimited; if within limitations natures bestows on us...

Each and all of us are arrayed with various gifts and deficits, or if you like, "abilities and disabilities"...in fact I'd like to thing that every person born on the planet is "other-abled", we are all unique.  Some may call me idealistic, but underneath the wrapping of our society it is a fact.

Yet, in our culture that supposedly advocates independence we find that "the popular people" belong to all the right groups, have all the correct categories and pigeonholes.  If I don't fit as a square peg, in your round hole, I am ostracized, marginalized and dismissed.

I wise woman I know once commented that there all kinds of flowers in God's garden...I rather think that each of us is like an instrument in a grand orchestra.  Take away anything, say the kettle drum, or perhaps the wood section, or the lowly triangle, and the music is incomplete.  Each and all have a purpose to fulfill in society, without exception.

The visibly and invisibly disabled community are the final frontier in civil rights in the USA.  Not until the 1970s did the disabled have the right to decide, there own housing, vocation, medical care etc...We are largely seen as burdens to be dealt with, not individuals that could benefit the greater world around them.

The truth is, by marginalizing those that are differently abled society is loosing out.  If the world is going to survive the impact of humanity in global warming, in wars all over the planet we need all kinds of minds working on the solutions.  Einstein didn't speak until he was three years old , they thought him (I hate this word) retarded.  Rather than being institutionalized his gifts were discovered and nurtured and he unlocked many of the secrets of physics, time and space.  I tend to think he didn't speak because he had nothing yet to say! Nikola Tesla is rumored to have been on the spectrum, and reading his writings I have no doubt...how different the world would be without these men (and women)? In my humble opinion we would have been denied the richness society could enjoy.

I'm intrigued by the concept of crowd-sourcing.  Crowdsourcing is the process of obtaining needed services, ideas, or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people, and especially from an online community, rather than from traditional employees or suppliers....at least that is how  Merriam Webster defines it, but it is arguably much more than this.

One example of crowdsourcing is the group Stand Up To Cancer  They are able to begin doing groundbreaking research, using a person's own immune system to kill cancer, and have already had some successes with different cancers. How were they able to pull this off? Simple, they didn't have just cancer researchers, but physicists, mathematicians, geneticists, social scientists and more working on the problem.  The goal of their research is to discover that universal genetic factor that will eventually turn of all cancers for good.  This is only possible because working on a scientific problem they crowdsourced people from many different walks of life to solve the problem.

It is one year ago next week, I lost my BFF and adopted "sister" to ovarian cancer.  As I write this, another dear friend was diagnosed with end stage ovarian cancer as well, and yet another friend was just diagnosed with stomach cancer...the idea that we can eventually use the human immune system to destroy all cancers would be a blessing.

And no, not everyone will be an Einstein, but not everyone needs to be.  But we each have our own genius.

Interdependence is a world view I will elaborate on more in future posts...

until that time...

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