Seeing things differently makes life rich & full. Here I share some of my passions and personal and professional interests, including my publications and playgrounds. I strive to live creatively and seek ways to feel alive. Play helps me achieve this as it creates spaces to grow, alone, with others and with God. Between playing in various tennis leagues, riding my motorcycle and hosting a braai, forms of play permeate my life.
Growing Down is my latest book and explores our deepening relationship with especially handheld devices. I argue that the appeal of today’s communications technologies, especially the need to be constantly connected and online, is deeply rooted in the most basic ways humans develop. Human relationship with technology mirrors the holding environment established between young children and their primary caregivers. The virtual world plays upon humanity’s deep yearning to reestablish that primary life-giving environment and to recall those first loving and caring relationships. By handling a phone and engaging online, humans revisit the exhilaration, fear, relief, and confidence of belonging, discovering, and gaining knowledge. Technology affords a space where the self can play, feel alive, and be real. In being neither good, nor bad nor neutral, technology and our relationship with devices demand our attention.
With Carolyn Naifeh, I started the Nashville IDD Housing Group, the only organization in Nashville helping adults with an intellectual and/or developmental disability find affordable housing, gainful employment and a strong social network necessary for them to thrive. We believe every adult with and IDD deserves a sense of community comprised of home, work, and friendships that will sustain them as independently and affordably as possible. We meet our families where they are; we set high expectations for our friends; and we give them the support necessary to succeed at home, at work, and in the community. Partnering with graduate students to build this community, we empower a future generation of social change agents.
Indeed, life is rich & full!