I am not much interested in technology or cool new gadgets. When robots can do amazing things, when virtual reality is wildly realistic or whatever, I kinda think, “Oh, neat.” If I bother thinking anything at all.
I’m aware that it is fascinating and impressive, but mostly because of the reactions of others.
Largely, my under-reaction is because I am personally not interested. My interests are just different, that’s all.
But I also think I’m unmoved in part because I’ve already seen technology that does unbelievable things, and robots that impress with their ability to seem human while having the strength and capabilities of doing superhuman things, in movies and on TV.
I’m less impressed because of the representation robots and other tech has in the movies. I’ve seen it a lot therefore I assume it’s not that impressive or new.
I am not in the tech world, hence I am easily confused by what is actually cool to see in the real world.
For folks who do not have many friends or family members with disabilities, this might be something to keep in mind.
If they are easily impressed by a disabled person doing mundane things, perhaps it is because they are not exposed to disabled people doing many things.
Additionally, when they are under the impression that having a disability means life is a constant struggle, a hard fight against the world and the distress of a broken brain or body, a sad state that can hardly be helped, perhaps it is because they are not exposed to complete and complicated stories of people with disabilities.
When I move about in the world I don’t expect to see robots or wicked cool technology all over the place, but I admit to being unimpressed and hardly surprised when I do. I get that it is cool, it just doesn’t spark any “isn’t that cool?” thoughts in me.
(I am kind of boring. I like trees. Trees are cool.)
When we move about in the world we are in the company of people with disabilities, that’s just a fact. Sometimes more people, sometimes less. Sometimes visibly disabled, sometimes not. There’s nothing wrong with noticing if something is cool (people are often doing cool things, sometimes those things include robots!) but I think it’s unfortunate that though we are exposed to diversity in reality, we are less exposed in our stories. It is our stories that help us get to know each other. They fill in blanks, expose us to possibilities, give us many more directions in which to imagine and care.
People doing things despite physical, emotional, societal, financial challenges is cool.
With exposure in our stories, done well and with honest complexity, we are able to include all of these cool things in our expectations.
We’ll expect and invite more people to be themselves in our public spaces.
That, I think, is the ultimate in cool.
(Though I confess, my opinion on what is cool isn’t highly sought after. Giggle!)
Hugs, smiles, and love!!!