Crisis doesn’t bring us together. We bring each other together.
Posted on July 28, 2017
(Image of Collin holding a balloon and pointing a stick at a dog across a field in the redwoods)
So earlier this week, after one of our monthly parent trainings, our BCBA (board certified behavioral analyst) therapist asked, “What do you do?” — i said that I was an executive director of a non-profit. Then she asked, “Oh! Is that the anti-Trump thing?” Okay, but seriously, she said she was surprised to hear that and that I’m still so involved in these trainings, therapy and activities for Collin. Then I told her that Mychi also runs a medical clinic near our house. She was even more surprised.
In the autism world, there are not a lot of baba’s involved and there are fewer parents that are both involved in the trainings and therapy of the child. Typically, it is a family with a stay at home mama or parent, who can afford to be home.
So after I gave ourselves props, it made me think, HOW ARE WE ABLE TO DO THIS?! Many think that “crisis” bring us together and we just make it happen but that is a very non-material view, which doesn’t capture all the labor put in to make things work. To me, fundamentally there is always a foundation that you build from for the crisis and/or moment. The crisis though can help bring a clearer vision and purpose.
For example, Mychi and I have a strong community including our families/comrades, our friends and all the great people we work with. If our organizations didnt give us some spaciousness or flexibility to be new parents to autism, I dont think this any of this would have been possible. SO it is about invisible labor or building strong communities that can be there for each other. Ive been thinking about it as building a movement “economy” that can hold each other in times of needs, which includes playing roles and rotating leadership at various times.
This can be applied in the movement setting as well. Some like to jokely say that, “Trump did us a favor and organized us against him.” I think it is more complicated. The forces who are more prepared to respond proactively and support new formations have been laying the groundwork for many years. Crisis does not lead to “revolution” but crisis does open up new opportunities if we are ready to take them on.
Maybe crisis can brings us together but getting through it, takes a whole lot more. We gotta keep appreciating all the people we have in our economy that are backing us up in times of need. Much love to all of you. #HappyFriday #DiaryOfABaba
(Edited version. Originally posted on facebook on July 28, 2017)
(Image of me, Mychi and Collin at 1 years old on a family trip to Lake Tahoe. There are beautiful mountains in the background.)