Friday, November 15, 2013


 I work with many volunteers, patrons, and, problematically, because it is unacknowledged, an occasional co-worker, who I assume has some basic kind of developmental disability.  That is, something is limited in their social facility or thinking processes in some significant way, but I don't exactly know what. I don't know the wide extent of it, the diagnosis, or usually even the extent to which it redefines or circumscribes their lives. There are some volunteers and many patrons where it is extremely clear that they deal with profound social functioning issues, but all of it is on a kind of continuum, and as the list of things a person is able to do on their own grows, it starts to meet up with all the other people I know and deal with who are considered perfectly able. But no one is perfectly able. We all carry at least a few bits of damage, at least, and personality itself is partly, in the glass half empty scheme of things, defined by things that don't work so well in us.

So it turns out we are all developmentally disabled, at least in a non scientific sense of that term. And this is an understanding, not a theory. If you think the President of the United States, or a revered author, or the Astronauts in space do not find it painfully difficult or impossible to do things you or I can do as a matter of course, or at least with basic facility, then you have misunderstood the very nature of human beings. We have been given the responsibilities of the gods, but none of their powers.

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