"A camel is a horse designed by a committee."
I've always foung that quote very funny, perhaps because I've sat in so many committees and discussed so much minutia as if it was important. Don't get me wrong, I think collaboration is wonderful and two minds definately are better than one, but somehow those concepts go out the window as soon as a committee is established. Even so, after all these years of sitting in those meetings, my mind has become organized into a little committee of it's own.
This came clear to me yesterday morning as I was working on what my mind now calls the 'Black Armband Action'. I was thinking about todays blog, the one I was writing now, and what kind of information people who are joining in might find helpful. So I looked up on the computer, "What arm do you wear a black armband on?" I swear to the heavens that this is true. And when I got the answer 'left side' I was almost (weirdly) jubulent. I had something of import to say. Then, because it would make everything more interesting, I set out to find out why you wear a black armband on the left side. What a fine bit that would make for a blog.
Well, to my utter disappointment, no one knows - the guess is that people wear it on the left side because most are right handed and it is easier to tie it on the left side. "AH HA," I think, desperate to make this relevant. "Maybe we should all wear it on the right side, denoting that we all need help to get by." I actually blushed with pride at that little idea and imagined writing a blog with that as the message.
Then, this morning, I googled Brent Martin's name again. This time I found the testimony of a youngster who had witnessed Brent's horrific beating death. The details are too disturbing to even print here. After finishing the article I sat there staring at the computer screen. I realized how the committee in my mind had done what committee's often do, it had lost sight of the purpose and got caught up in details.
I don't care if people wear it on the left or the right. I doesn't matter. What does matter is that people wear one. It doesn't matter if people wear it for a week, like I have decided to, or a day. All that matters is that people wear it, just for a time, and tell everyone that asks about Brent Martin. About the devaluing of the lives of people with disabilities. About the shameful lack of media attention focused on crimes against those with disabilities. About the lack of recognition of people with disabilities as victims of hate. About how we've had enough, that we will act as a community that loves each other, that mourns together. That a crime against one, is a crime against all.
Beside me in the trash bin are all my notes, the ones I made yesterday as I searched 'black ribbon' on the computer. There are only two rules ...
Wear it where you want.
Say what you need to say.
And we'll do fine.