reflections related to disability advocacy, family and (needed) cultural change
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Changing the World One Conversation at a Time
I like this campaign. I have heard from tons of folks that I should just get a sense of humor, that it doesn't matter, that it won't make a difference, etc, but I like it.
First of all, it's assertive. When my son was little and having trouble with some kids I ended up telling him one day not to cry around mean people. I told him I didn't know why, but crying makes mean people meaner.
It should not be true. I hate that it's true.
But trust me. It is.
Well, throwing your wishes up against those who are enjoying their power has the same effect. Wishing people would just be nice to us and educating the heck out of them to support that wish just makes the bullies enjoy their power more. In the article I linked to yesterday Maggie Hoffmann said "Gratitude is not a viable advocacy strategy." Well neither is wishing.
I am delighted that the disability community is finally standing up and saying "STOP IT!"
Secondly, I have had my own ideas about culture change for a long time which I will write a LONG post on at some point, but let me share this image:
Picture that year in Sunday school (or school, or scouts or wherever!) where that naughty kid ran the show. The teacher or leader tried and tried to get control, but just couldn't.
How'd they do it? How did that naughty kid take the lead?
When I explain this to new charge nurses I call it the Michelangelo Method. (Yes, I made it up, but giving it a name adds credibility, don'tcha think?)
There is a story that someone asked Michelangelo how he sculpted his masterpiece, David. Michelangelo thought for a moment and then told the person that he had the vision that David was in the stone and he just cut away everything that wasn't him.
Well, that's just what that naughty kid did:
*He made a vision--of mayhem where nothing serious got done.
*Then he cut away what did not belong in his vision--by responding every time things got off track (by making fun, threats, or other general naughtiness.)
*And thus, that naughty kid became the leader--no matter who was actually supposed to be in charge.
There are a huge number of possible visions in the world, and there are a wide variety of 'cutting away' tools, some acceptable and some not. But that naughty kid enacted what I consider to be the first step of leadership.
The Spread the Word to End the Word campaign has a vision of respect and they are using the tools of education, media, and more to respond every time and cut away what does not belong in that vision.
They are leading.
And we can help.
Click the pic above to sign the pledge, sign your group up as supporters, get a shirt and join the fun! It's not too late, you have almost a week!
I am the mother of three, wife of one. I am a Partners in Policymaking graduate and a committed disability advocate. I want to catch up on my scrapbooking, learn more about art-journaling, get my house in order, read all the books I have set aside to read and change the world--not necessarily in that order. The opinions in this blog are my own and not those of any of employers.