Monday, November 12, 2007

What We Are Able to Do

This post was inspired by the most recent post from ABFH of how neurodiversity and disability are described at http:// autisticbfh.blogspot.com/200711unfashionable-abilities.html
She (as she always does) has described something that I feel is very important in a good and comprehensive way.

My attempt here is to describe my thoughts about this, mainly based on how I have seen disability and accommodations treated in the U.S. during my lifetime.

As history continues to be rewritten (as we understand it better), technology is becoming more sophisticated, and the value of products and services is evolving. How people see value in what a person can do is reflected in these changing values.

While I don't think that a human's ability to feel and express a full range of emotion has ever been inherently impaired (different yes, impaired no) in any human or that this has ever changed, there are specific societal influences on how we respond to those feelings that are based on people who live in a particular location acting in particular ways, at particular times.

We as a world and we who live in particular locations do make decisions that effect societal values as well as the direction of what temptations become more available.

As I think about times in history when I've heard about a race or classification of people whose rights were being ignored and how the lives of those people who fit that classification were in danger, it has also made me wonder how those who described the problem to others and fought against the dangerous trend were seen by others.

Certainly there were people who were enjoying comforts during that time (that would later prove to be very expensive) who were quite opposed to any radical disruption in their lifestyles.

Others who were experiencing more of the discrimination had their judgement clouded by intense emotion and I'm sure this has often led to convenient and less rational approaches to the problem that hurt everyone.

Still others must have had some understanding of how what was happening to them was headed down a dangerous path, but felt powerless and afraid to speak up.

Of course the worst influences during these times are those whose feelings of hopelessness lead them to focus solely on the immediate gratification of their own needs. This comes at the expense of others and is most clearly displayed by those who see this as an opportune time to prey on the fears of others.

The first step toward turning things around is to view fear accurately and see it as deception. Most of the bad things that happens are caused by the apathy of those who can choose to do something to help the situation but don't.

Those who see the best way to create and protect the rights of autistics by describing the experience as a diversity or as a disability can reach a common goal with pure motivations

All people with differences and/or what are described as disabilities are often objectified as well as being excluded in the worst ways.

People have always been objectified by others who find ways to hurt them. The main difference is that today our weapons are more sophisticated and terrible agendas take less time to be carried out.

Desperate people will make clumsy decisions in haste. However, another problem is that too many humanitarian efforts are now being seen as trite and impractical. Idealists CAN always inspire lawmakers and planmakers.

There needs to be leaders, scientists, artists, and yes, even idealists (like me who don't give specific advice), that are working together for a common goal.

Those who today are being seen as disabled need accommodations and so do many others. There are people who need medical attention who must agree to certain labels in order to receive that help.

There is nothing about the ideal of neurodiversity that threatens that. In fact, it is the only ideal I know of that has any chance at preserving the rights of people who need these provisions from being led down an even more dangerous path. I would urge people to be careful who they fight against and how.

6 Comments:

At 1:23 PM , Anonymous christschool said...

Great post Ed.

 
At 2:24 PM , Blogger Dave Seidel said...

Thanks Ed, well said.

 
At 4:35 PM , Blogger Amanda said...

a good follow up to abfh's post (thanks for teliing me about it)
I agree that-
"Most of the bad things that happens are caused by the apathy of those who can choose to do something to help the situation but don't."

evil triumphs when good men do nothing.

 
At 1:47 AM , Blogger Casdok said...

Great post!

 
At 8:25 AM , Blogger abfh said...

"I would urge people to be careful who they fight against and how."

Yes, this is a very important point. All too often, people who ought to be allies end up fighting about small differences instead of working together to reach common goals. That sort of bickering can cause a lot of harm when it lets others who have dangerous agendas carry out their schemes.

 
At 11:03 AM , Blogger Marla Fauchier Baltes said...

Very good. I agree that apathy is a huge problem in the world today.

 

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