My thoughts on interdependence over at bunnyhopscotch, especially in a troubling time such as this one. There is a mistaken idea that we all need to be completely independent, and this misconception is shoved at the faces of disabled people. Complete independence is an ableist lie, and it makes people with disabilities and higher support needs feel like a burden. The truth is, nobody is actually completely independent. We need an entire network to stay alive. Interdependence is what we should be teaching and proposing, a strong and dynamic interconnectedness is necessary for all to thrive and flourish.
I like what D.J. Savarese said about Autistic people living in a supportive community, with interdependence as a model, and not the too-oft lauded “independence”. In this article in Psychology Today, D.J. is quoted saying:
Interdependence is my model. Make sure all members of the community feel needed. We all need to feel loved and included—not just nonspeaking kids. Ask yourself why sad selves can’t get free from anxiety. Learning is not hard, but it requires a sense of commitment. It’s not always easy, but we all love being a necessary part of something bigger than ourselves, and when we are, the community—and each of us—is better for it.
I’ve always ‘felt’ words, a kind of sensory connectivity with words, rather than mere abstract meanings, and the word “independence” felt like a desperate flight away from danger and pain. I associate that word inside my Being with the time…
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