Touchstones for trustworthy spaces

Touchstones help groups hold tension and engage in meaningful, honest conversation about difficult subjects with both courage and kindness. They can create the conditions that enable creativity, engagement and courage. How and where are you experiencing safety and trust? Where in your collaborations and relationships might you need a little more?

Can you see their health? A salutogenic take on parenting, leadership and change

As a parent of a young adult with physical and developmental disability and multiple chronic conditions and as a healthcare change agent, I’ve been thinking about how paradigms in healthcare influence how I see and experience my life and my work. In particular, I’m noticing how a new paradigm in particular is giving me a greater sense of ease and effectiveness.

To start a movement, tell a story

Increasingly, activists and change agents are using their own personal stories as a way to awaken leadership in others. Stories speak the language of emotion, the language of the heart. They not only teach us how to act, but also inspire us with the courage to act. Our stories help us translate our values into action by accessing our emotions.

The tyranny of Norman doors

Through their design, objects subtly communicate instructions on how they should be used. Certain handles just feel like they should be pushed, and others pulled. Bad design sends us signals that are confusing.

The tired tropes of special needs parenting

If you listen to or read pop culture reviews, you’ve probably stumbled upon a conversation about tropes, which are basically plot devices, themes or recurring character types. When disability gets represented in life and culture, plenty of tired tropes surface.

Passages

I opened a book last week and a bookmark slipped out onto the floor. It was a freebie from a favorite bookstore from my old life, back when I lived on the other side of the ocean. I loved that bookstore, with its coffee counter and author events and the way it always had exactly the book I needed even when it didn’t have the book I wanted.

Hello, hello

I thought even more about the fact that he said hello at all, and how that made me feel. Saying hello can seem like a token transaction, but really it’s a way to let others know that we see them. My shoulders loosened. I was reminded of the importance of kindness.