Friday, August 15, 2014

Sometimes Sidelines

You may have noticed that I haven't posted over the last few days. I feel like I have been buried under an avalanche of words. We have two newsletters to get out in September, one on the second, one on the 15th and the one for the October issue of the Direct Support newsletter needed final editing as well. On top of that I've been working on two big projects at work, all which involve a lot of reading and a lot of research and, then, a lot of words.

Along with that, there's been the business of living life. Things that need to be done. Issues that invariably get raised. Bad news that has to be dealt with. Upsets that need to be calmed. Life is, invariably messy and there are times when you need a mop more than others. This has been one of those times.

So, I had to look at places where I could create time. My blog has taken a hit as a result. I felt badly for a bit but figured people would be patient.

Well, that was true but a few have taken exception that I didn't drop everything and write a blog about the controversy around the George Takei post showing a woman in a wheelchair standing and buying a bottle of alcohol. I saw it. I found it insulting and demeaning and I know from personal interactions with bigots who make the same assumption about me as was made about the person in the picture. I reacted. I get why everyone was upset.

But some of that upset has spilled in my direction. I didn't do anything about it. I didn't write about it here on my blog not post about it on Facebook. I had planned to write a blog but couldn't get to it and I find Facebook a place where I couldn't express the depth of my reaction to the photo. I use my blog for that. And, I just simply couldn't.

I saw that many were, however, taking action and speaking up. I felt the large embrace of the disability community. People protested. People used their voice and their collective power to mount a formidable response. I was proud of the community and when I saw Takei's apology, clearly heartfelt, I savoured the victory for the disability community. They did good.

I have fought many battles for disability rights and respect of disability issues, I supported this one but I didn't fight it. I couldn't. My life didn't allow me the time, the space or the energy. This does not make me either uncaring or traitorous, it simply makes me human. I hope that people understand that there are times when I will dive into a brawl and times when I cheer from the sidelines. Just like everyone else.

Congratulations to those who fought a good battle. I'm proud to be a member of the disability community, even a sometimes silent one.

11 comments:

Susan said...

If there was a "like" button, I'd sure be hitting it right now...

You know how much respect I have for you. I know how deeply you care, how much you hate injustice and hatred, and abuse of power - and the passion that flows through you for "change". I know some of the effect your collective attitudes and actions have had on individuals (like me) and on (y)our community and on society. But it makes me so very happy to know that it's not all on your shoulders alone. Hip, hip hooray for Community and that you can lean back and rest in it on occasion... Sigh. (Feeling a little happier in my heart today. Thanks!)

Blog editor said...

Exactly what Susan said. Jill

Maggie said...

Speaking strictly for me, I always wonder a bit what's going on for the person who says 'why didn't you add to the furor about X?'

When nothing is being done (or said, or whatever specific action) about something Important, then I can at least understand the community asking one of our Most Articulate Members to speak up.

But when Facebook, Twitter, and lots of bloggers are full of commentary, why in the world would any of your readers ask you to add to it?

Yes, if you had something unique to say ... but if you did, you would have written it already.

If your readers are just saying 'Pile on,' well, that's the part I can never understand.

I'm sorry to hear that life has been handing you more 'mop' time than usual, and glad you're taking care of yourself by handling things in (your own) priority order.

While I love reading your blog every day, that doesn't make it my 'right' to have a new blog post to read every day.

I hope the readers who were so demanding can recognize reality.

And, Dave, YOU ROCK!

Liz said...

Yes. What Susan said.

I think it's terrific when a movement is big enough that each individual doesn't have to fight EVERY BATTLE.

Robin said...

Too many advocates and activists really can spoil the broth sometimes. Seriously, there was an articulate, information-filled outcry from a lot of great people. shouldn't that be enough?

lus, advocates and activists also need to do self-care, which means choosing when to step back.

Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt said...

If you had to fight every battle, it would mean no one else was doing anything.

So, don't worry about being out of the fray - there are plenty of people doing battle.

Alicia

PS I didn't even see that one! Mark me clueless - and busy and overwhelmed.

lexica510 said...

I'm glad to see you post today -- you're generally so regular with your posts that when a day goes by without one, I have a minor "hm, hope everything's okay" thought.

Related to this post, the blog SorryWatch took a look at George Takei's apology. You might find it interesting.

Kristine said...

I'm continually weirded out by the people who try to tell you what to do/write/say/think... It's one thing to say "Hey, Dave, here's something you might be interested in..." or "I'm curious what your thoughts are on this?" It's something else entirely to act like you owe us all something. Weird.

You're not the president of the world, and you're not obligated to fight every fight. :) You may be a fighter, but you're also a teacher. And being a teacher means being able to step back and let your "students" apply their new knowledge and skills on their own. You've taught so many of us through your various platforms! Thanks to you, many of us are more prepared to face the world on our own... as much as we still love your leadership. :)

Anonymous said...

Reading your posts is always a highlight of my day, and I appreciate that you enjoy posting so regularly and bring so many important issue to my notice.

But of course you don't OWE us a post, or to fight every fight.

That said, I agree with lexica, when you don't post, it makes me hope you are ok. Cause I worry about my friends, not because you owe us every detail of your life.

Sharon

Anonymous said...

You're allowed to not fight every battle.

It pains me when people are nagged to be engaged as activists when they just CAN'T, for whatever reason. Not being able to address every issue does not make one a 'bad' person or 'bad' activist, and sometimes that can be the dark side of activism -- where some activists try to get others engaged in a cause that said others just can't take part in, or at least not right now.

I'm struggling with this myself right now, albeit regarding a different topic, so I can relate.

-- Littlewolf

CT said...

Well, I join the chorus of "what Susan said." And others, too.

I promise you this: you always have to Pick Your Battles. Too many things to tackle them all. Doesn't mean you don't care, just that the energy is invested elsewhere.

Take care, Dave. I will be thinking about you.