I have often remarked how autism is a great magnifier. Everything feels major. It is hard for a person with autism to see the ‘Venn’ in the Venn diagram (remember those? Two or more circles representing different things, yet overlapping at various points). In the minds of those with autism, things are pretty much black and white with little space for gray or overlap. Yet I see the same type of thinking that we have desperately tried to help our son overcome evident in our current society. And the results of such thinking is destructive – to self, to all.
So, no, Jordon, not all police men and women are prejudiced. But some are.
No, not all Muslims are extremists. But some are.
Not all LGBTQ are militant. But some are.
Not all politicians are corrupt. But some are.
Not all whites are supremacists. But some are.
Not all immigrants are illegal – or criminals. But some are.
Not all Trump voters are ‘haters’ of others. But, yes, some are.
Not all Christians are bigots (including other ‘phobic’ type words). But some are.
In my experience, most Christians (who actually inter-cross and overlap most people groups in our Venn diagram) are very compassionate, kind, empathetic, and stand up for others – because love crosses all barriers of gender, culture, religion, preferences, etc. Most embrace people of all cultures, and likely more than any other people group to have invested or sacrificed their lives for the sake of others. However, all Christians are human and also in need of forgiveness for some terrible misdeeds. I deeply apologize for those who carry the name of Christ but do not bear the love of Christ and have given into hatred, bigotry, fear and selfishness. I pray for those – but though we bear the same ‘family name’ I do not share in any cause other than to share the precious truth and love of Christ. Please do not label ‘all’ with the same label as ‘some’.
This is yet another thing which those with autism struggle – dealing with only what is concretely apparent through the senses, and trying to find a mental label or ‘folder’ to organize life within those parameters. So, too, if we could lay down all labels, and look at one another beyond what appears obvious to us and try to understand one another’s hearts, we will be accomplishing great things. Needful things. Things like peace and love. Things like believing the best, rather than concluding the worst.
So to label and link and viciously slander an entire group for the sake of comparatively few, is not only illogical, it is wrong. It may be pc to speak and act with such hatred, vitriol and rage against the hatred of some members of another group, and labeling the whole group as misogynist, racist, Islamophobic, homophobic, xenophobic etc – but it is still wrong. How do you compare hatred against hatred? Hatred can only breed more hatred, but love can produce love. Otherwise what does this current reaction to the election achieve? Division and hatred, when it is only love that wins. Otherwise, we ALL lose.
One more thing. We have tried to help our son with autism understand that we are more alike than we are different. It is a matter of where you are focusing. There are many ways we are different – yet no matter what you find, our similarities are even greater. Humans have the same universal needs emotionally and physically and spiritually. Actually, we need our differences and would not thrive if there were massive uniformity. Unity, not uniformity, is the goal.
I have seen through Jordon’s eyes what it means to be barely tolerated. I have also seen the next level – to be accepted. But the best level of all is to be embraced. I would propose that most people have experienced the difference between these levels. I know I have. My hope is that we would chose to land on the ’embracing’ level of one another. The need to be embraced for our individuality and uniqueness is a universal human need. What better time to seek to understand as much as to be understood. To seek to forgive as much as we want to be forgiven. To treat one another in the same manner we would like to be treated – with respect, honor, honesty – and embrace one another in the beauty of our diversity.
The world is watching, waiting, needing for us to rise up as one people. The sworn enemies of our country are mocking us and waiting for us to destroy one another to make their job easier. They don’t care the color of the skin, lifestyle preferences, expressions of faith. We are, after all, to them, Americans, first and foremost.
Now if only we would see ourselves that way.
Please watch “Kid President – How to Disagree”. What a wise kid!!