Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Final contribution

Five minutes for concluding 'round table'

Conductive Education in the twenty-first century
Contribution to a Round Table

Andrew Sutton

I get to have the final word. I like that.

In the year 1910 nobody could have predicted what would lie ahead of humanity in the twentieth century:
  • total war
  • end of empires
  • decolonisation
  • totalitarianism
  • genocides
  • emancipation of women
  • antibiotics
  • climate change
  • life expectancy
  • population explosion
  • HIV/AIDS
  • computers
  • the Internet
  • the rise of Islam
  • plastics
List what was wholly unpredictable back in 1910 – everything that has happened since! That includes all of us in this room. It is not given to human beings to foretell the future. In the year 2010, nobody can predict what will happen in the twenty-first century. Looking forward to the year 2099 one can still, however, make two assumptions:
  1. all of us in his room will have gone, and
  2. it is unlikely that we shall be much remembered.
Conductive Education as we know it now will also have gone, and maybe it will not be much remembered either.

Nobody is immortal. Similarly, ideas and institutions do not live for ever. But people and ideas can have effects, good or bad, that live on after their time and combine with others to produce vigorous offspring. How to ensure such personal immortality of your own? Who knows? But generally speaking, such these things do not happen by themselves: we have to do something. Doing nothing will in general grant us no personal legacy of worth

Similarly, if Conductive Education to leave a legacy for future generations, this will not just happen spontaneously, of its own accord. Certain things will have to be done. Here some some suggestions:
  • associate and interact with others who know that the essence of our humanity depends not upon our biology but upon active participation, pedagogy and upbringing – and proclaim our work accordingly in these terms, for all the world to hear
  • work actively to help change the world's view of motor disorders from physical disabilities to developmental disorders – right across the life-span
  • step outside motor disorders, outside disability, and identify with the universal fundamental principle of human transformability
  • realign strategically, change Conductive Education's primary reference group away from 'rehabilitation' and 'therapy' – connect, blend, articulate and communicate, with fellow 'transformers' in fields outside motor disorder
  • take a lead, do not expect the world to owe Conductive Education a living, it doesn't
  • reignite the cause, that is the popular moral crusade, amongst the media, decision-makers and, above all, amongst individuals and families potentially able to benefit from transformative practice
  • demonstrate and proclaim the core message of human transformability
Different people might make different action lists. Whatever you aim for – act, organise to affect the future

The task for the twenty-first century is not to save Conductive Education as it presently stands – in a fast-changing world a task doomed to failure – but to contribute to a broader, more general end that, if attained, may in turn open the way to benefit people with motor disorders and their families.

This is the text of what I said yesterday as the final contibutor to the Round Table
'Conductive Education in the 2st century'

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