Where do I Stand? Afterthoughts [PDF]

John O’Brien

Nov. 2018

We have to do what’s right
 even if we don’t succeed.

–Margaret Wheatley

Hope is not the same as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.

–Vaclav Havel

Where do I stand? Afterthoughts

“Where do I stand?” is a helpfully ambiguous question. Our answers included statements of the values we stand for and the too common practices we stand against: for inclusion, person- centered supports, self-direction and community building; against segregation, congregation, bureaucratic imposition and the perpetuation of a separate “special” world. We framed our work in terms of a quest for social justice. We affirmed a desire to stand with people as allies rather than over them as supervisors or apart from them as detached professional observers. We celebrated expressions of the spirit of innovation and grieved the enclosure of the open space necessary to keep discovering better ways.