Brené Brown says “It’s good practise to lean into one’s vulnerabilities.” She should know. She’s an acclaimed expert in leadership and self-improvement. The logic is that when you lean into something that you’re vulnerable about, you face the issue and resolve it. There is no shortage of vulnerabilities in the world at the moment.
This week the government has reduced its Covid restrictions with the cap of indoor mingling up to 200 people under the red traffic light, and outdoor events being limitless. Vaccine Mandates for the Education Sector are no longer needed. Vaccine passports are gone burger-end of. In some way the Government is leaning into possible Covid risks and vulnerabilities, while moving with public pressure. In Stuff, an article quoted Dr Huhana Hickey talking about the possible lifting of restrictions. She said “being anywhere in the public still poses a risk to those immunocompromised of getting very sick with Covid-19, and it is much more dangerous for those facing some conditions, such as undergoing chemotherapy”.
This is a cohort that clearly wants to take a wide berth of vulnerabilities that could prove fatal.
Ukraine is packed with citizens leaning into the vulnerabilities caused by Russia. They are stoically protecting their homeland against a superpower and its sociopathic leader. But Ukrainian disability campaigners fear more of Ukraine’s 2.7 million people with disabilities will die or be seriously wounded as the war continues and they struggle to evacuate. They go on to say that tens of thousands of people with disabilities lived in institutions which were “already cut off from their communities” and “risk being abandoned and forgotten”.
On a personal note, I keep waking up with a sore throat and cold like symptoms. I’ve been leaning into a swab in my hand so it until it is so far up my nose that my eyes start streaming uncontrollably. The RAT test. Every time a coconut the result comes back negative. I heard a good method was to swab the back one of one’s throat vigorously before self-violating your nostrils. I tried this, this morning and I gagged and dry retched for a solid 10 minutes. I thought I was going to pass out from gagging. It was still negative.
Using Zoom is a very efficient way of keeping in touch and meeting with people in a virtual world, and it is also a world of virtual vulnerabilities. The all-important mute button is a ubiquitous trap. You think you are holding forth and saying your piece, and someone says after a while, in a condescending manner, “I think you’re muted”. It can take the wind out of your sails. Or being asked to mute yourself when zooming from home and the Sydney Silky terrorist dogs start a barking frenzy. The angle of the camera can make you vulnerable if it looks up at you, accentuating your jowls and nostrils. Even the expression on your face as you look for the “leave meeting” button after you have said your farewells can make you feel vulnerable.
First world problems I know. It’s all very well to lean into a vulnerability but don’t lose your balance.
Jonny Wilkinson is the CEO of Tiaho Trust – Disability A Matter of Perception, a Whangarei based disability advocacy organisation.