I know I'm making something out of this life they called nothing. It’s me against this world and I don’t care.
A few years ago I was living in Tilburg, The Netherlands. This is a small town in the middle of the country. The one amazing thing they have is a large pop venue that is a favourite touring venue for punk bands. It is one of the few places in The Netherlands that my son, a punk drummer, has been to. One night I went to see ‘Good Charlotte‘, the US punk band based around the Madden brothers. I had an envigorating, rocking evening, even though I was in my sixties! The song that remains with me from that gig is ‘Young and Hopeless’. It is a personal song that aches with teenage angst and disconnection.
I look at the power of ‘Ode to Joy’ written in 1785 by German poet, Friedrich Schiller.
The poem uses language generally rejected today with its focus on men and brothers, but it does align with the reality of its time. What is interesting, though, is its focus on the feminine as offering the solutions to issues we face. In that it pre-dates much of what is spoken about today.
I attended the first night of a Punk Music Tour and discovered what inclusion for those with learning disabilities really means.
There is a lot of talk on The Good Men Project about inclusion across the areas of gender, gender identity, race and other important issues. But the topic of how we treat those with learning disabilities like everyone else is just now coming to the forefront of the discussion. No matter how hard we work to include those who seem to be not like us, many people still find those with learning disabilities a challenge. I know I do. Autism and Downs Syndrome can be especially difficult as the effect is to disable simple communication. If we cannot communicate through words with someone how do we include them in our life?