We, as diverse deaf people, are all the sum of a larger body — the DEAF. We are the sum of all kinds of separate, yet inter-dependent parts. We are individuals and systems swimming in a wholly fluid, fluctuating and changing universe. We are illusively separate in our individual essence, yet we are ALL profoundly connected. Everything DEAF is part of you and me, and we are each a part of the greater whole.
I have been both HEARING and DEAF. In both life experiences, I have learned that it is integration, not isolation, that actually works to create health in any system. In my experience, the key to survival as a whole is adaptation.
To heal any part of the larger body, the dysfunctional system must be worked on as a whole. We cannot fix the “bad back” by working solely and extremely on the “bad back.” Each and every part of the larger body, must bend, let go, open, and release in order for the pain to be reduced. In this way, the larger body or system will be restored to health and the sum of its’ parts will function in peace. Adaptation is the major concept that we must learn and practice if we want to survive as a species.
In 1927, Max Ehrmann wrote a famous, inspirational poem called: Desiderata. Desiderata is Latin for “desired things.” Ehrmann’s prose poem is a beautiful declaration of what is essential to one’s life and how to live peacefully.
In light of the heated discussions on DeafRead lately about deficit thinking, with diverse groups of deaf people — consciously or unconsciously — pitting themselves against one another, I decided to make and post this video clip below using Ehrmann’s poem. The point of this video is simply to show that I, for one, am choosing to focus my energies on developing personal integrity, adaptation, inclusion and compassion for others. You, me, we are all a sum of the great body. You, me, we are all SUM-BODY DEAF.