Random Thoughts and Musings by moi

Musings by a feisty, opinionated Deaf gal who wants nothing but the best for her community and her people

mercredi 13 décembre 2006

We All Matter

My mind's just jumping all over the place right now... from the micro level (the moi-universe) to the macro level (the entire deaf community) and many points in between. Even though my thoughts are a real jumble right now, three themes are emerging:
1. We are all amazing and we all have something to contribute.
2. I'm being expected to do too damn much, and I need to take care of myself first.
3. We all need to do our part and contribute.

These may seem contradictory, but there *is* rhyme and reason, I promise.

First, a bit of background, which is being offered to help illuminate what led to this tangent. I become overwhelmed just listing what organizations I'm involved in and what responsibilities I hold in each organization. For example, at one recent meeting, there were around ten reports, and I gave three of them. This in a group of 15(ish) members? Yes, there were extenuating circumstances (one is an ad-hoc committee and I was asked to take over temporarily for the other two chairs). Don't get me wrong - this is a hard-working, dedicated group and everyone contributes in their own way! But what I'm trying to say is that this is just one of my many affiliations and I’m doing a lot there. Now multiply that by my other affiliations and you get an idea of how much I’m expected to do lately. Is it any wonder I’m so overwhelmed and feeling burned out?

I confess that this train of thought was on the whiny side for a while and contained mutterings along the lines of “Why me? Why can’t others just bleepin’ do their share??” But being the practical, realistic person I am, I soon realized that I was being unfair. Take the organization I mentioned earlier as an example. If I were to break down what each person has done recently, I would be forced to admit that maybe I’m doing too much but almost everyone else is doing a lot and contributing in many various ways that enhance their individual strengths and that we all really complement each other very well. That led me to marvel at the beauty of this organic group and how we are evolving and growing with each other.

My train of thought continued through the various groups and endeavors I’ve been involved in recently, pausing to wonder at how impressive the people I’ve had the fortune to work with are and how honored I am to know them and work with them.

The next leg of my journey went through the Gallaudet protest. The whole thing was so organic, with many, many people stepping up to the plate, each contributing in their own way. Elisa Abenchuchan did an astounding job of reporting during the May protest. No one appointed her, nor did she consciously decide she would become “THE” reporter. It just happened. The same thing happened with Elizabeth (MishkaZena) during the October protest. People throughout DeafBlogLand analyzed and dissected the events that other people reported. Some dashed off to 800 Florida Avenue, NE posthaste or contacted their legislators. Others in local communities sprang to action, doing many different things. Some became Tent City mayors, while others acted as concerned parents. Still others collected funds or maintained websites. It would be impossible for me to list everything different people did, but every single one of those people, no matter how they contributed, made a difference. Every single one of you who did something for the protest, you made it so that the Board had to give Fernandes her walking papers. For that, I thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

Some of you are still working to ensure that reprisals are not enforced or that they are reasonable and appropriate. Some of you are continuing to be active in your local community, but with a different focus. Some of you are among the bloggers that populate DeafBlogLand, shaping discourse and raising topics for all of us to consider and discuss together.

My train ride concluded with: I think the protest has proven that all of us can do something for the betterment of our community on a local, state-wide, national, and/or international level. We don’t need to depend on the “same people” to do everything. All of you/us have talents that, if we tap into them together, make the Teeming Millions a force to be reckoned with.

While I will be concluding some of my responsibilities soon and declining some future opportunities so I can take care of myself, I will not abdicate my place in the community. I will remain involved to a limited extent until I’m ready to take on a bit more. I deeply appreciate those of you who are actively involved in some fashion and I hope that those of you who are not contributing will reconsider that and allow us to become stronger through your talents. We managed to move the Rock of Gibraltar, otherwise known as Jane K. Fernandes, when we banded together. Imagine what else we, the Teeming Millions, can do if we continue to pool our talents!!!


  • At 06:44, Anonymous DE said…

    :) Liked what you wrote.. but more importantly, I AGREE with every word!! Yes, take care of yourself first. And, the Deaf community is so wonderful- our collectivist mindset and spirit really saved the day (the Gallaudet protest). We did good, and we shall do even better next time!

  • At 07:35, Anonymous Anonyme said…

    Collectivism is only good if it isn't like a lemming horde all marching to the sea....

  • At 23:47, Anonymous SDA said…

    such a heartfelt message... your points are valid... yes, just take care of yourself first... we simply need to remember to take care of ourselves first, otherwise we wouldn't be able to contribute ourselves, our time or help to our family, friends, and community... really, thanks for the meaningful message...


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