Nearness Isn't What It Used to Be
Let's Keep Reimagining What It Can Be
Some of what follows is the text of what new subscribers to this newsletter will receive when you sign up for it. It also serves as a bit of an explainer as to what I hope to accomplish in this space. After blogging for nearly 20 years I found that I couldn’t continue to do what I’d always done in the same old way. That old site with all those posts just don’t really reflect who I am anymore, nor who I hope to be. In my writing these days I hope to reimagine community in a world in which nearness isn’t what it used to be. The failure of our institutions to effectively address our biggest problems- inequality, climate catastrophe, the current pandemic and the ones that are no doubt on the way- has brought us to an inflection point. We can cave to the so-called “urgency of normal” and futilely expend resources and (God forbid) lives trying to get back the world that was enjoyed by the privileged and able-bodied before COVID-19 upended all those systems and routines. Or, we can lean into the new world that is coming, adapting our habits, systems, and routines to make that world the best and most inclusive that it possibly can be.
For so long those in the disability community asked to be included by way of virtual or hybrid meetings, tele-health, work from home opportunities and the like. These are just a few examples of new ways of connecting that should not go away if and when the pandemic ever ends. Social media and all these amazing technological tools at our disposal now make it possible to forge connections and build community in unprecedented ways, with people all over the world. I hope my small offering here provides one of those points of connection. So I hope you’ll sign up for this newsletter. Let’s keep reimagining what it means to be close in the world that is becoming. Nearness may not be what it used to be, but for some of us what it used to be wasn’t all that great anyway. Let’s work for something better, and make sure no one gets left behind.
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