Flip the Default

Did you know that Spain leads the world in organ donations?  They do, and the reason why is simple and brilliant.  They have a policy based on the concept of “default setting.”


Here’s the thing, years ago some smart people in Spain recognized that when individuals were given a choice about organ donation they often wouldn’t opt in.  People would overthink their decision, and the box wouldn’t get the check mark.  The smart people decided to make a small change.  They flipped the default to a “presumed consent” model. Now, everyone was considered an organ donor unless they opted OUT of the program.  With this small, yet incredibly powerful, change Spain has had the greatest rate of organ donation for the last 27 years.


It’s amazing what flipping a default can do, isn’t it?  I have a default setting when it comes to raising my son with special needs.  In my mind, Marston’s default setting is:


He can do it.


I presume his potential first before I ever dismiss that he is unable to do something.   He has had countless opportunities and found things he loves through this theory. 


Marston can fly in a plane and go on big vacations.


Marston can sing a solo.


Marston can go to Homecoming.


Sometimes his experiences may look a bit different, but I have found it far less dangerous to start from a default of YES and modify.  His abilities rise to the challenge almost every time, and I am constantly surprised and thrilled about the seemingly hidden skills and abilities he has in that beautiful brain of his.


(The picture above was taken by the amazing Nicole Rossics.  The beautiful girl in the picture with Marston is Emily Rossics.  Emily has been Marston’s friend since Kindergarten and asked him to Homecoming.  I see myself writing many Bring The Salad posts about Emily in the future!  She has been an incredibly bright light in our lives.)


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