Thursday, October 20, 2016

Future Folk

I’m looking for some Future Folk.
  Can't see the video? Click here.

No, not Future Folk such as the refugees and former space worm farmers from the planet Hondo featured in the video above.

Instead, I’m looking for some people willing to look into the future of services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD).

I was thinking about this recently when a longtime friend of Imagine! rejoined our Board of Directors after a several year hiatus. He commented to me how it seemed that nothing had changed since he last served on the board. He’s not the only one to say so. I stay in touch with my predecessor to this job, and he has told me the same thing on more than one occasion.

Here’s the thing: it shouldn’t be this way. We shouldn’t keep looking to solve the same problems in the same ways. We shouldn’t continue to drain our energy engaging in fights over the tiny scraps of resources available to us, instead of focusing on a genuine shift in how we do business in order to address the many challenges facing our field.

Some may argue that “people don’t like change.” I’m not sure that is always true. There are some things in our lives that we always demand are constantly updated and renewed: our computers, our cell phones, our video games.

Why can’t we demand the same for services for people with I/DD? Are we too afraid to make forward thinking decisions? Is it safer to stick with what we know, even though we know it needs fixing, than it is to take a risk that may allow us to do better? Is it possible that much of what we are talking about and battling over today will be irrelevant in a few short years?

We need to embrace our inner future folk and stop looking over our shoulders for solutions. We need to look forward and think forward. The stasis currently infecting our field does no one any good. And we’re in the business of doing good, so it is way past time to move along.

Then again, what do I know?

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