This month, 20 years ago, my second book, "Beyond Difference" was published and released. This book was my early reflections on the elements of macro change. It was becoming clear to me that the notion of fixing disability, for many, was a frustrating effort that had more negative ramifications than positive. In "Beyond Difference," I wanted to promote ways that community around the difference could become more accommodating.
They say that 20 years is a generation and in celebration of this benchmark, I sat down and re-read this book. As any personal retrospection might offer, I found some of my comments and stories quaint, but by and large, I felt a satisfaction on how well the book held up, a full generation later. The primary concepts were cogent, and the thesis still viable.
But after I put the book down, a sorrow began to emerge. The mere fact that the thesis still held water, also signaled that we have not made much progress in macro change. That the same realities are still present, some 20 years later, suggest that we have not come all that far in our advocacy. That the efforts to change society are still very present and screaming for action.
Translational theorists suggest that it takes 20 to 25 years to see change be accepted in society. If this is the case, those of us doing macro change advocacy have a lot of work to do in a short period of time. So if you see yourself as a change agent, looking to promote culture change, take a look at "Beyond Difference." You can easily track it at Amazon.com, by searching the title, or my name. In fact, there are some used copies available for only a couple dollars.
Regardless, if you believe in a community where each belongs, you also believe in a society where we can get beyond difference. Together we can make the world a better place.