When my children were small, my friend Mary Beth would call me to talk about her latest story, struggling to get the kids into the car in the morning. One child, the younger of the two, refused to get dressed when it was time to take her oldest to school. On one occasion, the younger took off her PJs and didn’t put anything else on. Mary Beth wrapped her naked toddler in her coat and off into the car she carried her.
I laughed and laughed at hearing this. I was pregnant then, and Mary Beth said, “just you wait.”
How many memories does that jog into your mind? Of being told, “just you wait,” or “are we there yet?” or even another often-used expression, “it’s not my time yet.”
If my grandmother were with us today, she would tell you I never liked that last one. Once I hit the age of understanding the injustice in the world, I gave up the belief that we should wait, and I have grown in patience since then but have not adopted a new expression.
We need the inspiration to be our best selves, to do what others say cannot be done. My dad was famous for saying, “can’t means you won’t.” So, I would say to all of us that as soon as we say ‘can’t,’ the red flag needs to fly.
We live in our organization committed to possibilities and social justice. We live for possibilities because the world will change, and there will be new opportunities to advance our learning and individual and community achievement. We live for social justice because we still see the “haves and the have-nots.” We see the effects on people with disabilities who were kept from safety, opportunity, and equal respect.
So, we join our organization to take a stand. It is time to make a difference and establish a change within our communities. Here I ask you to think of a statement that is commonly accepted as the way it is. What do you want that statement to become? What is your intention to make that change happen?
For example, it is thought that day programs get people out of the house right now. They can hang out with their friends, and people with disabilities only want to be friends with people like them. In the way of possibility and social justice, I would like to see more inclusion for people with disabilities. They can choose who they want to spend their time with and where. What is your intention? I intend to continue working towards inclusion for people with disabilities.
What is a common statement made that you wish to change?