Hurricane Sandy and the Power of Interdependence

Interdependence is the core fact about reality. Acknowledgement of it is required to thrive with a disability.


Redentor e Liberdade.jpg
So much of society masks how we depend on each other - those around us an those who went before us. That legacy accumulates into what we take for granted as infrastructure.

Disability unmasks the mean-spirited actors in a society where Universal Design is rejected as the only responsible criteria for allocating public resources. Since Katrina and then the earthquake in Haiti disability activists have relentlessly developed and disseminated protocols for disability-aware disaster relief. Thankfully, Hurricane Sandy does not seem to be disproportionately hard on people with disabilities.

What it has done is reminded the general public of the reality of interdependence. We all have limits:

Hurricane Sandy did not just erode beachfronts; it also eroded partisan political differences. How else can one explain Gov. Christie's warm and gracious comments about Obama after the president did far more than what was required when he suggested that the New Jersey Republican personally call him if he needed any help with federal agencies.

Disasters never go away. They become part of our culture, providing stories of danger and heroism that we share with our children and their children. Disasters take neighbors and make them friends.

New Yorkers, widely considered to be tough and selfish, are suddenly eager to share cellphones, drink beer with strangers at their local bars, and to cook meals at home -- since without subways there is no way to go out for dinner and get home easily.

There is one simple lesson we can learn from Hurricane Sandy: We cannot ignore the essential infrastructure that moves people, information and goods.

Source: 
http://www.cnn.com/2012/10/30/opinion/moss-hurricane-sandy/index.html

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