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The Shift of the Ages and those of us withe Disabilites

Hello all, I would like to ask a rather strange question. That is in all the talk about a change in our world whatever name you like to call it whether "the Shift of the Ages" Sustainability" or "Evolutionary transition" I have not heard how those with physical or mental disabilities are supposed to fit in and or be apart of these wonderful changes. It seems like no matter what type of society you live in or envision those with disabilities must remain isolated. 

Essentially I would like to know how we can create a world where it doesn't matter what your gifts are but only that you can be a genuine part of your community. Not hidden away or used for a government handout. Not living with relatives because there is no real place in a community for those that are not good enough to go off to war and murder there fellow human beings or have that make believe Hollywood style. But simply just as much a part of the human family as any one else.

I have wnated for a long time to turn my own life with disabilites into something that will help others do the same.

Ok I'll stop rambling on and hope that someone has some good ideas about how this can b done.

Gary

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Hello Gary,
I think this is a wonderful question and I so appreciate your raising it here. We actually shared a story in our book, The World Cafe: Shaping our Futures Through Conversations that Matter, about a Cafe held with women with disabilities in Africa (see the lead story in Chapter Ten called Working on Behalf of Their Sisters: African Women with Disabilities).

I know this doesn't answer your question-- but I'm wondering if you are part of a group where you could gather others with what society labels as disabilities (as well as those whom society doesn't label as disabled--but who are disabled in other ways--or differently abled let us say) to explore the issues you raise in a World Cafe dialgoue.

I think it would be a wonderful contribution to our mutual learning and might begin to reveal some paths forward on this important area for all of us.

HOw did you learn about the World Cafe and this community....and welcome!

Warmest regards,
Juanita
Hello Juanita. I'll start my reply by answering both your question
1. Unfortunately I don't belong to any such group. I must say that if I did that would be an excellent no make that a wonderful idea and I would go for it. Thank you for the good thought though.
2. I learned about the World Cafe when I encountered a Story about it in a E-book about the Gift Economy.

Thank you for your reply to my post. Well maybe this website might be a good a place as any to start such a venturesome conversation.

Peace
Gary
Gary,

I think there is much to unravel here in your excellent question. For one, if you think through your question as the tip of an iceberg with your emotional and rational experiences leading up to it "below" (e.g., the ones that led to your formulating it), then what are those, and are any of the issues either present or absent in the dialog taking place in the World Cafe? This may give you a focus.
Also, one does not need to be disabled to be excluded, all it takes is a different enough personal history or experience level and you can be "out". So maybe the question is "how can we conduct our communities more inclusively"? Much of where we find ourselves in the world may stem from too little of this.
Hello Chris, I'm not fully sure how best to answer your interesting reply. I've never thought of the iceberg analogy. I think I'll have sit on that one for quite a while. As it is always easier to sort through someone else's lives. I am grateful that you brought that up though. The only way I can answer the iceberg analogy would be to warmly invite you to my bog at: www.thewordneedsmeto.wordpress.com. In this blog I am in the process of exploring the many facets that make up life with a disability(ies).
Point well taken on the mention of other ways in which a child or adult can find her/himself excluded. I think that you are quite correct in saying that what we see in the world at large is partly a factor of how we don't think of inclusion in what and how we work with the tools and infrastructure that makes up our town, cities, and regions.

Well hope this was helpful.

Peace and true freedom

Gary A. Jordon
Hi Gary

I am one with supposed "Mental disabilities" and I am acting in sustainable manners.

One, find a format that you like to follow, there are several.

My favorite is the Natural Step format. It has four principles
1. reduce the amount of manmade chemicals that are put into the environment.
2. reduce the amount of heavy metals and other substances brought up above the ground.
3. Reducd the destruction of natural environment (that take care of the first two pollutants)
4. Meet human needs world wide.
this is where your question lies and is the forefront of sustainability thinking. Until we take the time to see ourselves as integral to our environment, and stop treating each other as disposable, or only here for our own benefit... Well, you see this is a big issue.

I also want to challenge you on your use of the term "Disabled" If you haven't looked it up, I want you to.
This is so insulting to you and others and puts you in a box to be dealt with later by most people.
I see everyone as temporarily abled until they have a crisis, where they have to renegotiate their relationship with their world. When they again find their balance they will be differently abled from what they were able before. This will welcome everyone into the circle again were we all belong.

http://daily.finerminds.com/success/aimee-mullins-ted-talk/

I invite you to view this video to inspire you further.
btw, i was locked up in 1988 and was released 5 days later.. i would not have survived that short of a time except for other psychiatric survivors before me who taught me about the effects of Haldol and gave me tools to find advocates quickly although I was full of prolixin or some other heavy med.
This did not eliminate all the stigma I carried for years until I was able to forgive and heal from this experience.

I am homeless at the present moment because I don't see things the same as anyone else in the job world. I am stubborn about finding my own way until I make sense of how I want to be related with others economically. I am also exploring eco-psychology.

The main reason I was locked up was my growing awareness of the weak community I was born into after experiencing real community among the Native American peoples of the S.W. We really don't take care of each other and live in a sparse intimate culture, that any of us could fall through the cracks and lose community..

I have found a way to stay in touch. I am houseless but homeful. Gaia is a wonderful home. I love her.

Best of luck Gary, believe in your self and ask only what can you do or stop doing that is simple to start with.
don't bother with what you can't do.. That path is for doubters in the creator. I don't think you doubt that you're here for a very good reason.

Peace,
Ptery
Hi Ptery,
What a beautiful conversation is unfolding here. I love everyone's authenticity and care in dealing with this important and sensitive area of our human experience. I especially appreciated the way you framed the question of being "differently abled."

You said:" I see everyone as temporarily abled until they have a crisis, where they have to renegotiate their relationship with their world. When they again find their balance they will be differently abled from what they were able before. This will welcome everyone into the circle again were we all belong."

I wept when I read that -- I watched that, for example, with my dad -- and now with my mom as they re-negotiate their relationship with their world through the aging process....and how they are having to come to terms with being "differently abled" than they were in their younger years for example....in our society, the aged have the same dilemmas with inclusion that others who are not part of the "mainstream" feel.....perhaps we are dealing with a deeper human experience--that if we could illuminate would make us all more compassionate and inclusive as a human community.

With warm regards on this Interdependence Day,
Juanita
Juanita you are right about watching ones elders go through a series of life alttering changing. Mom had a massive thyroid storm something like 25 years ago and I had to watch and try to help her do this rebalancing act on more occasions than I want to count. she is currently in a nursing home and still tries to do the best she can. The difference for me and those who acquire their challenge is that we don't start off "normal". And while I can easily see Rtery's valid point about the use of the term "disabled" and her use of "differently abled" I find that most people still use the term so Its just a matter of making certain that what I say is more or less understood.

As for the inclusion part. what a nice dream that is. Let's face it for the time being on this topic we may as well be still in the dark ages. But if enough people at least start to think about this topic we might see some change.

One last note I'm deeply concerned about the Gulf Coast Oil Spill and the very real and tragic loss of dignity that is going to happen as many babies will likely be born with serious birth defects and health issues. I'm also deeply trouble by the oil rains I have seen on You-tube. I can't see how you can keep children locked inside for month on end. That means thousands of children will end up with various developmental, physical and health issues that will overwhelm an already dysfunctional system. God bless the little ones.

Peace and true freedom
Ptery I'm just a bit curious and very puzzled about the issue with the Native American. I guess the question boils down to how does seeing the weakness in your community grounds for being hospitalized and on heavy meds? I also am having trouble understanding how the The First Peoples of Turtle Island fit into this story. It seems to me that we should at least be listening to these people as they not only once upon a time had very strong community but also are the caretakers of Turtle Island.

Thanks for your story and for your warm blessing.
Hi Gary,
You misunderstand me. It wasn't the First Nations People that made me sick. It was the vision and then the Reality of San Franscisco where I arrived next. The contrast was too much, it sickened me the lack of community and weakness of our circle of life. All of a sudden I was isolated, people were doing their individual thing, while there were so many homeless and still are.

Most people in this culture just happen to get along, but don't see the lack, because they have never seen a community. The Native community with all it's apparent weaknesses are still stronger than the communities I have witnessed in 'civilization'.

Secondly, I don't believe in this concept of "Normal" Some people are more able to pass than others. But what is at the bottom of this passing is a person with hidden gifts, hurts, anscetral paths. WE are all meant to be diverse and unique, but live in a culture that wants us all to be cogs in a machine. That is how our schools are structured.. What if all these kids who are being diagnosed are actually our healers? And are the first to protest such a weird and now widely known as archaic system of education?
I know in my heart that each child that is born is God trying to tell us something, a new prayer for healing for something. But does this culture listen?? No, it already knows what it needs to teach the next generation. This is so wrong.

children excel at learning, they don't need 'school' to learn. They will learn. And they will seek that which is inate for them to learn.

does this make sense?

About the Gulf?? you and me and I think so many people.

Disabilities, yes. But if they are nurtured and led down a path of healing so that they don't hate what made them what they will be, they have potential to heal.

The danger is that of those already exposed, death is the more likely result.

There are methods of detoxing from the Beneze which is the larger culpit in this case. The main ingredient in the dispersant.

I will post it later, I've run out of time at my library.

Good discussion!! Thank you all.
Thank you very much. Now your story makes a lot of sense to me. you know more than most people do. But I have to break it to you. If you think San Fransisco is dysfunctional you would really have had a nasty trip down south of there in Southern California. I live and must until my dear mother passes to the next world in the Antelope Valley Particularly the City of Palmdale. This area is very pro military and is even more conformist than San Fransisco is.

I wonder if you have had of this new(at least to me) notion of unschooling. I think you may be on to something. Your notion of having these individuals accepted for their uniqueness is rather appealing, The cog in the machine notion is no longer of service to the human race and I would like to see more ways to help parents and caregivers help these people learn needed skills and to have the healing that is needed for them to walk on mother earth with dignity and to be the best they can be.

I have looked at the creation of each individual as a manifestation of God for a long time. I'm glad to hear of someone else seeing this in a similar manner. I always wondered what each person I worked with gifts were and how I could help him/her find these and learn to use them. I also wondered if their felow human being would ever begin to see them for the wonderful creation of God that they are.

As for the Gulf you may well be right in that death will be a big problem for many of the inhabitants of the region. The mainstream media doesn't seem to want to give the most sane and compassionate advise. That is to evacuate from the Gulf of Mexico as soon as you can. God help all the people and other nations like the animal and plant nations of the area.

Thanks for the conversation and I have moved to my own domain with my blog. The website is www.theworldneedsmeto.com

Have a great day.
Thank you for this conversation...it is so illuminating and rich. I love the name of your blog---- "the world needs me too"....or is it "the world needs me to" --- both meanings are very important! The world needs me also....and the world needs me to (offer my gifts for a particular purpose)
Warm regards,
Juanita
Juanita it's The World Needs Me To. I hadn't considered the other variation you mentioned hmmmmm. I think the world Needs Everyone's gifts and talents no matter how odd they seem. Ptery is right in her views on the nature of inclusion. We the world needs more free thinkers and those willing to look in a nonconventioanal way. Well thanks for the replied Have a Great day.

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