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  • Posted January 21, 2019

The Herd Isn’t Always Right

People mean well, I believe this to be true. However they are looking through their lens, not yours – so what’s “right” for them doesn’t automatically fit what you need. Be careful when following advice, no matter how well-intentioned, take the time to weigh it against your goals and purpose.

I understand why people follow along, it saves us the time of making a decision. Decision fatigue is a real thing, we only have so much bandwidth to use so our brain creates shortcuts. But it’s up to us to decide what’s important – meaning we focus our attention on it; and what’s not – we can go on autopilot.

For example – there is no reason to spend a lot of time figuring out how to get to/from work everyday, you probably have a set route and don’t think about it after the first few days/weeks. In contrast, you should absolutely spend time considering the pros/cons when evaluating supports for an individual with disabilities – especially if they can’t speak for themselves.

This is not the time to think “well this worked for this family, and since the person I’m helping has the same diagnosis it will work for us”. In some cases this could be true, perhaps the medication is designed to target specific diagnoses; but all too often it’s just the easy way out.

Not every decision needs to be second-guessed; but if it affects an individual’s independence and/or civil liberties I think there should be a LOT of consideration given. Explore alternatives by talking to people outside your normal circle of friends – this is how you will hear opinions that don’t mirror your own. It’s uncomfortable, and speaking for myself, can be frustrating and aggravating to have your personal beliefs challenged.

But remember – this isn’t for YOU! I’ve found it helps when I am able to take myself out of the equation; ask myself what happens when I’m gone. Yes, this may make MY life easier, but what’s it going to be like for my son. Please do the same.