Friday, May 8, 2009

Dear Oprah, Is plastic my true purpose?

Ever since my Environmental Science class in highschool (1974) I have tried to use less plastic. These days I attempt to purchase items that don't include plastic packaging and reuse and recycle the plastic containers I do buy. However, my feeble attempts don't hold a candle to the dedication of Beth Terry. I am once again inspired to redouble my efforts to live mindfully and consume less of everything, especially plastic.

According to the calculator at Global Footprint Network it would take 3.2 Earths to sustain all of our planet's inhabitants at my personal standard of living. Ouch! I have some serious work to do.

Friday, May 1, 2009

BADD--Blogging Against Disablism Day 2009

Blogging Against Disablism Day, May 1st 2009 Although I thought I knew what "disablism" is I it looked up anyway. Most references pointed me to "ableism," a term I knew I knew. It, like its cousins racism, sexism, classism, ageism, etc., is a label for a discriminatory practice we humans use to set people who are different from us apart from us. In this case, ableism and disablism practices discriminate against people whose abilities don't fit the standard we have as a whole set for "abled." Our societal conventions and institutions are structured to favor those who can walk on two legs, see with two eyes (glasses allowed if they correct to 20/20,) hear with two ears, work with two hands, and use our voices to speak smoothly and distinctly. Oh, and let me not forget, we must demonstrate mental health and acuity on a level with our peers at every age. Operate outside of these parameters and one is certain to be the object of discrimination and quite possibly distain.

Many of us considered abled have the privilege of not having to think much about how we get around, what we'll need to get through new and existing experiences and environments or that we might be turned down for a position for any other reason other than our qualifications. We need to change that. We must adopt the mindset individually and collectively where everyone has earned our consideration and respect on no other merit but they exist as individuals. Our humaness dictates we will all use tools to complete the tasks we need to do to survive. We will have varying abilities and skills and use different tools to move through life and as a society we must not set up barriers to success for those needing more or different tools than others.

Disablism or ableism, whichever the name, is wrong. Don't do it. Don't allow it. Seek it out and destroy it. Our world will be a better place when it is no more.