Only Anecdotal

No numbers, just stories

Dream On!

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I was meeting on Sunday with a visionary, a person who had a bigger idea of what would make a vibrant, living, artistic community, and he was describing the various challenges he has found with the people who spend so much time rooted in the “reality” of things as they are right now.

It’s a frustrating thing to have a great idea of what would make things truly great, only to be reminded, constantly, of all the good things that we can do right now. It feels sort of like having a bake sale to build a new school: laudable, perhaps, but a great effort that entirely misses the potential of those precious moments, and dreams small.

I think this often, as I think about tests and pilots and demonstrations that have a great vision in the beginning to solve a problem. The ones I have most encountered in my recent career world have something to do with access to services, and facility of navigating systems that can ideally fund the most basic needs, level the playing field so to speak for people who need wheels to get around, or an extra set of hands to pick things up.

There always seemed to be some prevailing notion that everyone can have adequate assistance, if only the system were simplified into one easy method–or no wrong method, at any rate.

I sometimes think back over the last few years, and wonder if the numerous individuals who benefited from that ease of access to services are now living better lives because of it.

I ask this now, as we contemplate the future of healthcare. I ask it, because I see the future efforts at developing new infrastructure, building new programs, and I think about the last several posts, in which I lamented the utter lack of essential services for various age and disability groups. All the knowledge and navigational assistance in the world is only helpful in so far as it stops an endless maze of pointlessness. And perhaps the visible hole of need brings along enough anger in its wake that more of us feel motivated to speak up.

We need a bigger vision. But it really is more than that, as I believe that the vision is clear enough and common enough to many people who have worked in or personally encountered the health and human service system. Dreaming of some world where we can respond quickly and efficiently to the obvious needs for housing, transportation, and personal care is not a waste in itself. Only, we do not need more focus groups or advisory committees; we need to start building. Action is bold, and it is unlikely. But it is absolutely essential to stop wasting time and money on securing our comfort zone. The small efforts may feel good in the moment, but really, when they keep us from focusing on the big picture, all they really do is waste our energy, and make us feel good about it.

Written by Only Anecdotal

28 Jan 2013 at 7:50pm

Posted in advocacy, community, consumers

Tagged with , ,

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