I’ve been composing (not to mention deeply editing…yes, you read that right, to deeply edit is a thing…really) quite a few lengthy, more complex essays about some pretty messy, even, some would say controversial topics as of late. And I’m enjoying it. I am.

But I don’t necessarily think this serves my readers as well as it should. As I should. Therefore I decided I’d resort to a good, old- fashioned list post for now.

Perhaps this makes me come across as less composed than I usually am, but whatever.

Do yourself a favor and educate yourself with this list. Please understand that a common rebuttal from (several) able-bodied people about this post will likely be something along the lines of: “All you do is point out what able-bodied people are doing wrong!” …

Is attitude truly everything?

My entire, in-depth answer is so much more complicated

One of the most popular “inspiration porn” phrases we often hear (usually from able-bodied people) in the disabled community is:

“The only disability in life is a bad attitude.”

To be fair, for years in my childhood and adolescence, I bought into this phrase, this lie.

I believed it, if only to a certain, surface-level extent. If only, many times, reluctantly.

I’ll have you know this: Even as a child, inwardly, on some subconscious level, I knew that the common, “inspiration porn” talk around disability was not quite right…not quite accurate, not quite real. …

I had the honor of writing this in collaboration with one of my bosses, Christine Flavin, an amazing grant writer and author in her own right, and the Founder of her freelance business, Bottle Tree Consulting. ** Please feel free to check her out here at http://www.bottletreeconsulting.com/. She does wonderful, vital, and important work.

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It’s a weird time to be alive right now.

Exciting? Eh, well, that depends on how you look at excitement. You’d have to have a pretty narcissistic definition of the term. No, I don’t think so.

Devastating and heartbreaking? Yes, absolutely. Gratitude- inducing? …

Greta Gerwig’s Little Women is a wise, witty, tender adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s novel.

Never did I believe I’d write this, but not only does Gerwig surpass what I first believed was my favorite adaptation of the book (every 90s child’s treasured 1994 version with Winona Ryder) but she knocks it upside its head. She leaves you spellbound. She leaves you emotionally wrecked in the best possible way. And she does her audience one better than any of the other versions…one better indeed.

Little Women is one of the best novel to screen adaptations to exist in our time. Period. It is damn near perfectly cast. The writing and direction never steps wrong; it is stylish, fluid, intentional, warm. The cinematography is so well-observed it’s flawless. The costuming is a thing to behold. The pace and structure of this movie both challenge you and guide you along for such an enjoyable ride. I could gush for pages about many specific factors. But I suspect you didn’t come for that. What you came here for, and what I’m attempting to write, is a review of the film overall-how it works as one cohesive work of art. …

James Mangold’s latest film, Ford v Ferrari, is many things. It’s a tale of friendship, a sweeping commentary on American exceptionalism & consumerism, and a highly entertaining film.

At the core, it is about two individuals’ love affairs with racing.

Let me interject something for context: Those who know me well understand that I’m not much of a sports person. This is a dramatic understatement when it comes to racing. I’d rather stick pins in my eyes than watch any form of cars go round & round in a circle for hours.

Why, then, would I go to see Mangold’s movie about an event that occurred, truly, even before my parents’ time? …

I’ve long been fascinated by Native American stories. More precisely, by Native American history and literature and the effective, vigorous personal narratives that emerge as a result of that history.

But, as I realized when I first began reading true Native American stories (read: those written, performed, and authored by those of Native American descent) I saw that there are many blind spots perpetuated by whiteness. More specifically, by the ways in which white, European leaders (whether intentionally or not) have incorrectly portrayed, and even stereotyped, Native American life, history, values, and culture. …

I’ve established here that I’m a firm believer in reading a lot of books .

I find that that’s good for your mental health, is a great conversation starter, and makes life more thought-provoking and meaningful. I also believe, even if you don’t read books regularly, in doing your own different forms of well-written, substantial, verified research, when you want to learn something new, rather than just taking in everything you hear or see in a “news feed” at face value.

However, if I am being fully honest, a lot of what I’ve learned about the world, specifically about being disabled has indeed come from the screen- and one screen in particular- YouTube. …

I’ve written, I hope with passionate emphasis, on this blog about the role that privilege plays in all of our lives. In fact, I noticed during a long, stressful editing period this week, that I’ve really done so twice- see here.

I realized, even as I was constructing that essay, that my writing about privilege is far from finished.

A subject as complex, far-reaching, and sensitive, as privilege must be a constant conversation. A constant discussion.

That’s because as I was debating this topic, I reached out to some of my peers in the disabled community. …

I think about privilege a lot. Different types of privilege.

And I hope that this is not solely because I am an individual who lives in, has to thrive in, and grew up in a world where, in order to succeed, I had to be aware of my own lack of able-bodied privilege and how to compensate for it.

I hope, frankly, that had I not been born with a disability, I would still be aware of my own privileges, and as a result, considerate, mindful, and compassionate towards the injustices and microaggressions that others face, regardless of my own struggles. …

1. Start with reading just one news article from an actual (read: substantial, verified) source every morning at breakfast.

And no, I’m not talking about some meaningless, vapid, stupid Facebook article that your grandmother felt compelled to share over and over with you. I am not talking about a cheesey, corny, “motivational quote” or a truly awful “inspirational” cat poster.

I am not even talking here about famous literary quotes or even catchy, prodding, supposedly “profound” lines of poetry (though those do have their time and place). Nor I am referring to the silly, utterly pointless article that some rando acquaintance with whom you have no real connection with via some pixelated feed shared, either.

No, I am talking about you taking time, to yourself, for yourself, whether that be via laptop, phone, or some other device, (or even, yes, by print, if you still believe in it) to read an actual news article, from a real, verified, educated journalist that has NOT COME FROM A SOCIAL MEDIA FEED (at least, to begin with). …

About

Molly Carter

Writer. Blogger. Iced coffee addict. Doughnut enthusiast. Lover of good stories.

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