I am posting from Henryville, IN, where I am attending a conference called Candle in the Window. There are some 14 blind people here... The topic of the conference is different each year; and this year it is independence vs. interdependence. This morning we examined definitions, and this afternoon we are talking about family issues (parents, siblings, children, etc.) Tomorrow we will talk about marriage relationships.
This is an extremely nebulous topic, and I really wish I had more time to reflect. (This is why I am writing a post while I am sitting in the middle of a session.) Fortunately we are going around the room in a circle, so I can keep up with who is next, etc. I could probably write volumes on this subject. (And where is my money for self-publishing anyway??)
Someone asked this morning why we think that independence is such a buzz word for blind people. Answers included things like because our independence has been taken from us, because independence has been emphasized throughout our lives, because teens strive for their identity, and numerous other things. As I listened and participated in this discussion, it occurred to me that the answer really depends on the context. Independence can be defined differently depending on the discussion and its context. Are we talking about people who lost their sight? Kids who are learning how to function as adults? Girls learning to dress for success? Little kids learning to cross the street? Adults who need to maintain an identity as equals in the community? Independence means something different in these groups.
More notes in time...