The Too Quiet Complaint

September 1, 2010

Somehow in the evolution of the human species the tendency to complain – about everything and everyone - has become stronger than the tendency to do anything about the something of which we complain. How often in the grocery store or the coffee shop do you hear people bemoaning the current state of our economy, national policies, or political climate? How few people do you see acting on their dissatisfaction? The same is true in advocacy for individuals with developmental disabilities. Parents stop me in Wal-Mart to complain about the lack of services or they call me to bemoan how, when, or why they can’t get the help they need. But do they speak to people who can actually do something about it? No. Do they write letters or go to meetings? Very few do. So, decisions are made, programs are designed, rules are written, all by a chosen few in power who, usually, are not family members of individuals with developmental disabilities.  They have no life experience to guide their actions. The silent majority do not realize that their silence is very loud, very powerful, very obvious. It shapes and guides the decisions that are made about the very things of which they complain, all too quietly.

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