Tuesday, May 5, 2015
Tuesday Truth - Cinco de Mayo
Happy Cinco de Mayo, everyone!
Of course, this isn't a greeting that's entirely applicable to everyone. In fact, a ton of Americans use it simply as an excuse to get drunk, celebrating their nonexistent Mexican heritage. Kind of similar to St. Patrick's Day with the Irish.
Today is an Independence Day for Mexico. For Americans, our Independence Day is July 4th. Now, of course, these days represent national sovereignty, and separation from the colonial powers that planted them. For Mexico, it was Spain. For America, it was Great Britain. It's a very specific kind of independence that we're celebrating, one bought with lives, blood, hard work.
It does get a person thinking, though. For me, it gets me thinking about independence, and how it relates to people with DiversAbilities.
The first high-risk maternity clinic my wife and I went to when she got pregnant with our Little Bear was a disaster. One of my strongest, most pungently unpleasant memories was after the local medical student violated my wife to the point of causing her pain, and we were all ready to go, a social worker was summoned to her room, and those of us that were there with her, myself and my mother-in-law, and her aide, were asked to step outside. Then they asked her, repeatedly, if she was sure she wanted to keep the baby. There was a pressure to abort it, because, let's be honest, a woman like this couldn't possibly be in a position to care for a baby. Right?
I was furious. When the social worker was told she had a husband, and that we were determined to keep the baby, he seemed shocked, surprised. How does a woman like this even conceive a baby willingly? How is any relation anything but something akin to date rape? As you can imagine, we found a new clinic. Immediately.
You may remember, a couple of our DiversAble Models that have been highlighted over past Fridays have had experiences living outside of their parents' homes. And they were empowered by the ability to do so! Let me tell you something. No one is truly independent!
As children, we are dependent on our parents, to provide shelter, food, clothing, socialization, structure. As we get older, those needs are met by others. We get jobs, we pay for our own shelter and food and clothing. But, let's be honest. If you were truly independent, you'd have to build your own house. You'd have to grow or hunt for your own food. You'd have to collect fibers, spin, and weave your own cloth, to make your own clothing. Do any of us do any of that? Not really. We are all dependent on someone for our well being. The sense of independence, that sense that comes from becoming an adult, comes from the power to choose whom are you dependent upon? And people with DiversAbilities have this same power. For some, it means procuring 24-hour aide coverage. For others, it means moving into a group home. For some, it means getting married.
We all have differing levels of independence. As we get older, many of us will be relocated to old homes. Or maybe some of us have accidents that put us in situations we weren't in before. When I was in high school, I had surgery on my foot, and was bed bound for about two weeks. And I was severely hobbled after that for months. I understood a certain level of independence disappeared from my life for a while. So, none of us are truly independent. But we are each powerful, in that we can choose who we depend on!
Support people's right to independence by placing an order at http://bitly.com/mandifashionshow
*Please note: 90% of this month's proceeds will go towards funding The DiversAble Model Fashion Show