Welcome to the Future

Dec 07, 2010
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As many of us do when we have lots of other important things to get done, I wasted some time this past weekend surfing around on the internet. I found myself watching music videos on YouTube. A song that I have heard many, many times came one…but I watched the music video for the first time. The song was “Welcome to the Future” by Brad Paisley. Whether or not you are a country fan, the words of the song can get you thinking. The message of the song can be summed up in these lines:

“Hey, so many things I never thought I’d see,

Happening right in front of me.

Hey, everyday’s a revolution

Welcome to the future.”

It talks about advancements in technology and improvements in social justice issues that have occurred over the past several years. Disability issues are mentioned nowhere in the lyrics of the song, so I was pleasantly surprised to see that they are presented repeatedly in the music video. I encourage you to check it out here or to watch the embedded video. Pay particular attention to the following time points: 3:20, 5:15, and 5:39.

In many ways, the song is somewhat of a gross over-representation of the progress we have made, particularly in terms of social justice, as becomes evident in lines such as “Hey, wherever we were going, well we’re here.” However, it also reminds us to sit back every once in a while and realize that we are moving forward.

When you work in a field where so much remains to be accomplished, such as the field of disability studies or advocacy, it is easy to become overwhelmed by the problems that remain. There is so much that still needs to be done before we can say “We’re here.” Yet, progress has been made. Attitudes are changing and eyes are being opened. Technology is improving lives and providing more opportunities. People are rising up and working together. Even just quickly scanning through some of the other blog entries on the NCPAD Blog provide evidence of the progress we have made (ex: new technology and new opportunities) and the work that remains to be done (ex: discriminatory policies and poor attitudes).

We mustn’t stop or even pause for too long in our efforts for inclusion and equality. But sometimes, taking just a second to remember where we have come from can help us to keep pushing forward.

Author: Carolyn