Barriers are simply the things that keep you from participating or making choices - whether it is a game, activity, project, or most importantly an opportunity for personal growth or advancement.
I think about this constantly, given the people I interact with daily. Consequently, I have come up with some conclusions. I believe that most barriers in our modern society are social constructs, not physically tangible impediments. Inequity, injustice, and discrimination are at the core of all the obstacles people, without the privilege of whiteness, family connections and social hierarchy, or elite education, come up against daily.
We live in a place where a large proportion of us, regardless of our European descent, do not, for the most part, have access to the “riches” afforded to the privileged, including natural respect and courtesy, reliable, ethical, and quality (not to mention affordable) healthcare (including mental healthcare), a wide variety of options for jobs, education (free from bullying, intimidation, coercion, and detrimental labels), or decent, reasonably priced housing, grocery stores and fresh, year-round, whole food markets, retail stores (that are not dollar stores), and dependable transportation.
This entire list, of what have become entitlements in our culture, determines whether you have the “luxury” of freedom of choice for yourself and your family, or not. Therein lies the conditions that have created the barriers in our inequitable, unjust, and discriminatory society.
When a large segment of the population is left without the basics of free choice in a “free” society – it says something about that society, not the people who are struggling to survive.
No, this is not a politically charged post. It is, quite simply, a nod to the folks I meet every day. They are the ones who feel like their hands are tied in a system that uses intimidation, outdated (to the point of obsolete) methodologies, and coercion (as a scare tactic) to keep people down - not lift them. These folks are seeking respectful dialogue and viable options, which will allow their kids to succeed, not a hand-out, or a "free lunch.”
This is exactly where DRC can help. We offer kindness, a listening ear, and validation, but most importantly, practical alternatives for a positive future, where there were formerly none (including the choice to opt-out of the existing system entirely).
If supporting people to be their best, in whatever way possible, is considered radical - then as a society, we are in enormous trouble. I refuse to lower my standards of common decency, justice, authenticity, and respect to cater to the lowest common denominator.
Note: I am linking these two articles related to the above graphic. The first is the one that uses this graphic to illustrate their point, the second has a different version. I found both to be helpful resources in thinking about systemic barriers.
I am also linking this article that I came across this morning, as a resource. It clarifies, for me, one way we could change our culture, which is currently steeped in greed, to be more fair and just.
DRC has open enrollment in both of our facilities – Canton and Lawrenceville. If you are seeking an alternative to public school – DRC is here to not only help navigate the legalities of developing an educational plan outside of school, but to provide a welcoming learning community with a personalized and flexible approach. Get in touch today for more information.
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