Community ; not your Carbon-Copy

June 24, 2016

Active Participation in Community

Multiracial Group of Friends with Hands in Stack, Teamwork

We don’t get to choose all the communities we are a part of:

Some communities are chosen but others are ones we may find ourselves in whether we like it or not. Clark Kent did not choose to be sent to Earth and we do not get to choose the country or family we are born into. Our favourite comic book Heroes did not have a choice in which super powers they received, we also do not get a say in which physical abilities we are born with or will keep during the course of our life-time.

Similarly, some of our favourite comic book heroes suffered ridicule for being different; there are many individuals with hearing impairment who have likewise suffered this judgement & exclusion.


We have come a long way:

Historically, persons whom are differently-abled have been persecuted, purposely excluded and side-lined. This has been done blatantly at times and other times more subtly. Both have had the same negative of effectively silencing or even denying those whose story does not fit into the dominant cultural dialogue.

To deny an experience, to deny the existence of a person; is not healthy for anyone!

Thankfully through the diligent work of SuperHEARo advocates both on the ground and in-government policy-creation some previous barriers have been broken through. Currently, there are more services, opportunities and tech options available than ever! This includes devices that can help make your cochlear implant waterproof like the new Aqua+ Device or the Cochlear Mini wireless Microphone which can help making studying or attending professional meetings easier. Progress has been made, which is to be valued and we must continue to recognize what our predecessors had to go through for us to live in a better world! However, our global culture must continue to invest in education, compassion, consideration & critical thinking.


We can go further:

It will require SuperHEARo efforts & sidekick support; if we want to continue to positively influence the world. Part of this work of evolving/progressing thoughts and behaviours; can happen through education. This is not traditional education that takes place in schools and seminars although that should not be excluded.

This education can be facilitated by asserting ourselves; creating and taking opportunities to speak up for dignity for all.


Don’t be too shy to share:

Speaking up does not require that we necessarily morph into bold crusaders overnight! Instead consider doing your individual best to stay open to sharing whatever your experience is, with others. At times this sharing might be painful when others respond insensitively and may result in us being disappointed with their emotional maturity. However, we must be careful to be aware that they may be going through their own battle, they may have chosen indifference and avoidance as a false-defence mechanism, if they are raising an awareness of lack of compassion, then offer them compassion. Speaking the truth can also hold great reward as people may change their behaviour and the way they relate and treat you to be more gracious.

Plus, by speaking & living your truth compassionately you create integrity within your strength of character!


Unique approaches for Unique Individuals!

Respecting ourselves and the value of our experience can help us in the effort to both gain new respect and restore the respect which is sadly sometimes missing for those who are differently-abled in our dynamic culture. Sharing can help others empathize with the challenges we are facing along the journey and it opens the opportunity to be stronger together!

There will always be someone better off and worse off than you, let us be good to one another & ourselves.

What might your approach look like? Perhaps it might mean speaking aloud even though you are not confident with how you sound? {Accents are the spice of language, imagine how poor South African English Afrikaans would be without the Cape Coloured Culture!} Maybe it means asking people to repeat themselves instead of pretending you understand? Maybe it means communicating your needs to your loved ones? One thing you can be sure of is that your approach will be as unique as you are and is as equally valuable as anyone else’s. Don’t sell yourself short just because you haven’t always saved the day.

We can help support each other through intentionally sharing when things go right and when they go wrong!

No more “perfection is the only means of success” thinking; consistent compassion is the way forward!

Be brave! Active participation in communication diminishes the possibility of false-assumptions; allowing the communities which you are a part of, to get to know you better, is a worthwhile endeavour. You can exercise your power, it is a choice!


Don’t be afraid to be your SuperHEARo Self:

Even when you might feel alone you are not! While you are in the spotlight, behind the scenes you have awesome audiologists, speech therapists and educators as well as Southern ENT ready to help you creatively face challenges, encourage you and keep cheering you on. Do it for yourself, do it for the community, you will not be a slave to passive victim-hood, in each heart there is potential & choice!

For any information or advice, please call our offices on 011 667 6243

 Connect on Your Journey with Southern ENT via Facebook & Twitter


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