Monday, November 26, 2012

What's Up, Doc?

“Some people call me cocky and brash, but actually I am just self-assured. I'm nonchalant, imperturbable, contemplative. I play it cool, but I can get hot under the collar. And above all I'm a very 'aware' character. I'm well aware that I am appearing in an animated cartoon....And sometimes I chomp on my carrot for the same reason that a stand-up comic chomps on his cigar. It saves me from rushing from the last joke to the next one too fast. And I sometimes don't act, I react. And I always treat the contest with my pursuers as 'fun and games.' When momentarily I appear to be cornered or in dire danger and I scream, don't be consoined [sic] – it's actually a big put-on. Let's face it Doc. I've read the script and I already know how it turns out.”

Bob Clampett on Bugs Bunny, written in first person.

Admit it … when you first started reading that quote, you thought this was about me. I have always thought highly of Mr. Bunny.

I often picture Bugs in the animated world of intellectual and developmental disabilities that we occupy every day.

What would that look like? His irreverence would mean questioning Doc (Doc being whichever authority figure or rule maker he is currently interacting with) and asking “why” when decisions are handed down that don’t make sense. Bugs is not irreverent because he doesn’t care; he is irreverent because he cares a lot. He doesn’t question decisions because it is fun, or because he enjoys being a thorn in Doc’s side, he questions decisions because he wants to be sure that they are being made with the best interests of the people we serve in mind. In the mix he would also find an opening for a punch line or two.

Late night television personalities do this every day with respect to our world; questioning with irreverence. They probably learned the benefit of irreverence from Bugs Bunny. Throw in a couple of punch lines and people tune in.

And to be clear, I encourage a “What’s Up, Doc?” attitude from all Imagine! employees, even when said Doc is me. Imagine! hasn’t been a leader in the field for almost 50 years by quietly accepting the status quo and never questioning authority. On the contrary, we have succeeded because we refuse to remain quiet and we don’t just accept decisions at face value.

If irreverence is an effective way to create change that is impactful and sustainable for those we serve, then who am I to say no? So, if in my blog, or in person, I ever come across as irreverent, picture Bugs Bunny.

Can't see the video? Click here.

Please understand that my irreverence comes from a place of great caring … honestly.

Then again, what do I know?

1 comment: