This vlog explains what will eventually happen when you don't accept your disability and it's effect on those around you.
Transcript can be read here.
Continuing along the same theme as my Crab Theory post. I'll be sharing my feelings on an old phenomenon that happens in the Deaf community plus one recent one that has popped up.
What is Deaf Identity?
I know the Deaf Identity involves more than just the three I showed, but it is the simple explanation. So, let's take a quick look:
American Sign Language is our shared language in the United States and in some parts of the world.
It is NOT "English on the hands" or "gesturing" as the misconception goes.
It is its own valid language with grammar, syntax and all the linguistic rules. Deaf people use ASL not just to communicate but also to tell stories, poetry, jokes, visual vernacular, and SO much more. In short, we cherish our ASL.
Culture is "defined as patterns, traits, products, attitudes, and intellectual / artistic activity associated with a population".
Some Deaf Culture aspects are:
Deaf pride is calling ourselves Deaf - Capital D, as opposed to deaf - Little D.
We do not see ourselves as "broken", "disabled", or "handicapped".
As Dr. Bill Vicars of LifePrint puts it "So we renounce the label of disability and shun patronizing attempts to categorize us as having a "challenge." Not because we don't have a challenge, (we do), but rather because it is psychologically much more comfortable to avoid thinking about it and focus on other things. We go about our lives engaged in the process of "living" and are then confronted by certain Hearing people feel the inexplicable, irrational need to "help" us come to terms with and/or "realize" or "admit" that we have a "problem.""
Now, let's go to the phenomenons happening:
"Not Deaf Enough"
This has been happening for generations, where one feels "too deaf for the hearing world, not deaf enough for the Deaf world". Where one may have been mainstreamed, grew up orally (speaking not signing), late-deafened, deaf but don't sign, have a cochlear implant or whatever reason the Deaf "elitists" feel. (My word choice). These "outsiders" are then rejected, black-listed, or even attacked.
My personal opinion? It's bullshit! Everyone with a strong hearing loss struggle to communicate and participate in the outside "hearing" world. We face the same rejection, oppression and patronizing attitudes from ignorant people. We all face been left out and isolation in a busy crowd at one time or another.
New Labeling - DDBDDHH
Recently there's a "trend" that's going around stating that the word "Deaf" is not inclusive enough and "we" should be calling ourselves DDBDDHH. Which stands for Deaf, DeafBlind, Deaf Disabled, Hard of Hearing. Here's a captioned video explaining more:
First of all, that's a lot to memorize and fingerspell (and say). Look, I call myself DeafBlind because it's my identity as well as being a lot easier than saying "Deaf and legally blind", or to be more PC "I have a combined hearing loss and am visually challenged". Sheesh! Now you want me to say "I am DDBDDHH and have vision loss"? No. Just No.
Think the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) will now have to spend more on bigger business cards and letterheads to change it to National Association of the Deaf, DeafBlind, Deaf Disabled, and Hard of Hearing.
Let's stick with Deaf.
Cherish Who YOU Are!
No matter where you are in your Deaf identity search - still "d"eaf, learning ASL, have a hearing aid or a C.I., or already deeply involved in the Deaf community - whatever, be PROUD of who you are!
Never apologize for who you are as a Deaf person and never apologize for where you are in life. You're responsible for yourself (and your family).
Ignore the naysayers and other crabs (remember crab theory?) and keep learning, keep evolving and stay happy and productive.
In the Deaf community, there's usually some form of "Crab Theory" happening.
First, let me explain what that is:
"The crab theory is based on the metaphor of what happens when you put several crabs together in a bucket. The crabs crawl over each other, trying to get out of the bucket, and in the process, none of them escape because they keep pulling each other back down."
Deaf "Crab Theory" Examples
The "crab theory" is used in the Deaf community to describe the tendency of some Deaf people to criticize or put down the successes or achievements of other Deaf people. It may take several different forms: malicious and negative gossip, grudges, social rejection, etc.
Let me list some examples:
How to Fight "Crab Theory"
First, before you can break it, the Deaf community needs to be aware of it. Often this habit is learned and internalized and is "normal" to do. Others just go with the flow and believe and agree with their friends.
Dr. Jaime Wilson, a Deaf Psychologist explains that a good way to stop crab theory is Mindfulness Therapy.
"Mindfulness therapy will encourage you to have the experience and understand your own feelings...You learn the technical skill of recognizing the feeling before your action".
So, breaking the crab theory mentality starts with you. You need to break the habit of "pulling others down" or stop joining and encouraging others to do it.
Now, I know it's hard for organizations and clubs to arrange workshops on teaching mindfulness, much less find a qualified therapist who can sign. Instead I suggest:
Help Others Out of the Bucket
For those who have crawled out of the bucket - became successful in your life, do turn around and give a helping hand to those in your Deaf community. Offer them employment, internships, education opportunities and more.
Now, do be careful because there'll be a greedy few who will bleed you dry - energy, time, and resources. Do help, but with boundaries.
Successful Deaf people have turned around and helped their Deaf community, here are a few examples:
Now I want to give encouragement to those feeling the pinch (heh). If you're reaching for a goal, have reached your goal or are just being harrassed by others in the Deaf community.
That quote is the absolute truth! If your "group" constantly belittles you, tells you "you can't" or make you feel bad about yourself in any way - are NOT your group! There's a difference between negative critique and helpful advice. Some may try to offer advice how to improve yourself, but if your mindset is negative you'll see that as criticism, so learn the difference and see where you really need to look.
If this gets too much, you may need to find a different social circle. I know this is very hard in a Deaf community, but you got to think about yourself first.
Keep progressing in your life, improve yourself, your situation, your job, your life goals. Any progress is good progress! Think of it this way, while you're progressing slowly - you're still going faster than all the Deaf gossipers still sitting at the table complaining. Hmm?
Here's one last encouraging video:
I'm rooting for ya!
Hey y'all! Sorry this is late, I actually thought it was Saturday - yeah it's been that kind of week.
Since I will be starting on the big de-cluttering jobs over the next few weeks, I wanted to prepare with the right mindset.
Preparing Mentally for De-Cluttering
Earlier this week I showed you the list of questions to ask yourself when you're cleaning up, but now I'm going to tell you how to prepare mentally for a de-clutter challenge.
Think these things over and over again while cleaning things out. If you just "can't part" with something, that's okay, set it aside and try again another time. If this becomes serious, please seek out help and advice for the "root" problem.
1. I have what I need in my life. Some hold on to extra items for fear of poverty, loss and sometimes regrets. They were once without, now they have the means to own things so they start stockpiling. The point you miss is that it doesn't help with the financial gain. You fear going poor again, yet you're spending all this money on things. Just think of things you need for the present, not for "just in case" or "I wanted this when I couldn't before" and so on and on.
2. Think of the present. We've all said "I'll use it someday", but that someday never arrives and we have stashes of stuff for "future projects", and "I'll fix it later" and it just sits collecting dust. Sell them or toss - you could use the money for something you want today.
3. I have the memories. Some people have sentimental and emotional attachment to things, which is fine if you ask me, but as long as those are happy reasons. Anything that stirs up negativity should be tossed - no ifs, ands, or buts.
But really, you have the memories, you don't need to keep a teddy bear from the 1984 State Fair 'cuz that' where you got your first kiss. Remember the kiss - toss the bear.
4. I have room. Sure, you may have room to store stuff, but try this, take a before picture, de-clutter the room, then take an after picture. See the space? Neatness? Feel less stressful?
As the video below shows - less stuff = more happiness.
5. I will follow through. How many times over the years have we collected clothes or old toys to donate and those bags and boxes sit in our garage or car for months before actually going out? Yeah, so schedule donation drop offs, classified listings, and dump visits regularly throughout your de-clutter challenge.
6. I'll reward myself. After cleaning a large room and actually getting rid of the stuff - give yourself a small reward: a meal out, a treat, or a move. Don't go shopping and get more stuff to fill in "the new space".
I hope these pointers help prepare you mentally for the big de-clutter challenge coming ahead!
You might have notice I'm starting small this week, just to get the habit started. The next few weeks I'll be going from room to room.
But for now, let's do a small but important area - our purse, briefcase, wallet, planner - whatever you carry around with you on almost a daily basis.
Clean out and toss
First let's get rid of some things we have:
Ways to organize
Now let's organize to help find things easier:
Once everything has it's own place and designated bag it's so much easier to reach in and grab the specific item. For an extra boost - make the organizers different colors.
Then if you're one that changes purses to match outfits or events, this organization system would make switching out a breeze.
Today let's tackle that old filing cabinet (or whatever filing system you're using.
Is it hard to insert new papers into it due to overcrowding? Is it hard to find what you're looking for?
Time for an overhaul and here's how:
Cleaning your filing system
Let's de-clutter our filing system:
1. Get a Shredder
First things first, get a good shredder that can really cut up your old bills and any confidential information on paper. One that can handle multiple sheets is great!
2. Start shredding old documents
Start throwing out old outdated papers. Here's a list of how you know it's outdated:
3. Organize the files
Start organizing the files into groups and importance. You could buy different color files to represent different areas such as - family related (health, school, insurance, memberships), Housing information - mortgage/rent loan information, insurance, payments, car insurance, taxes, etc.), Utilities, Bills, Tax information, and so on. In my filing cabinet I put the bills and statements that occur the most at the top and front and the less important or least needed go on the bottom.
4. Create a binder of information
If you're a mom, you're quite familiar with the annual school year bundle of paperwork to fill out. Instead get a binder and have a section for each family member and fill out information on each person - contact info, doctor address and phone numbers, emergency contacts and everything else the school, doctor's office and any other official needs. Instead of scrambling to pull out individual files (or looking up numbers online) it's all in one convenient place to flip through.
Include a section of other important information - insurance policy numbers and company contact numbers, employer contacts, and any other important contact numbers.
5. Have a "catch all" file
I mentioned in my productivity post that I have a file holder on my desk for the incoming mail. One of the files is for "to file". Then once in a while take that file and file it away in your filing cabinet properly.
If you don't want to go that route, you can simply keep an empty file folder in the front of your filing cabinet as a catch all and label it "Needs a Home" and when you have a free moment, take that and file everything properly.
Hopefully, you're filing system looks a lot thinner and more manageable which saves you time and energy.
Do you have any other filing ideas to use?