Disability Experience: A Contribution from the Margins Towards a Sustainable Future

by Erik Leipoldt


Humanity is faced with serious socio-environmental problems, the causes and manifestations of which appear more complex than we have ever faced before. At the same time our value system seems unable to cope with these problems. Not only that but the magnitude of many of these problems is such that they are often experienced as overwhelming, which in turn contributes to apathy. In this article I propose that the disability experience of interdependence offer a practical framework towards a sustainable and flourishing world. This experience on, and from, the margins, may be a contributor towards reducing the disabling distance that we have created between the environment and ourselves, and between ourselves and others. I propose that the disability experience of interdependence offers both a vision towards which to aspire and the practical means to towards it. Its transformational path points to the human condition as one of vulnerability and dependency while identifying those resources in human nature that may enable us to live a fulfilling life within inevitable limitations.

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