We will all remember the year 2020 as the year that changed the way we live, shop, entertain, work and play. It is the year that has pushed many of our personal and professional resources to the limit. It is a year of civil unrest, challenges to our past and the unknown shaping of tomorrow. What are we to do? Mahatma Gandhi said, “We must become the change we want to see.” I believe he was telling us to take responsibility and seize opportunities to improve our world. Peter Drucker stated, “Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes, but no plan.”
CP Nassau and CP Bayville faced many challenges over the past many months and because our stakeholders, staff, participants and their families were committed to working together; facing their fears, we have persevered. The challenges included the COVID-19 virus, the need for PPE, the willingness to isolate, quarantine, and keep social distance, the capacity to follow the plan even when uncomfortable and disheartening, all of this proved the commitment of the groups mentioned.
Challenges continue and will be with us for a long time, if not forever. Some of the obstacles are unavoidable as the scientists learn more about treatment and prevention. Some of the obstacles are the result of New York State’s continued withdrawal of financial support for children and adults with disabilities. This is an area where we have some power along with a responsibility to react. I read recently that with COVID-19, many people are confused, bewildered and mystified and hoping and praying for a happy ending to this crisis. If you are looking for an answer to your prayers, the article suggests, make it a working prayer. Our website shares easily accessible steps to reach your local, state and federal representatives. Since you are reading this, we know you have an interest in the well being of those with developmental disabilities, head injuries and other types of disabling challenges. We need you to have your voice heard. Some may say it won’t change things. I believe that’s wrong thinking. By walking in the direction of our aspirations, we can succeed.
I’d rather leave you with the words of Margaret Mead; “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”