Letting Go

I’ve spent some time grieving over the recent violence in America.  The fact that I need to qualify that statement is disgusting.  The recent mass shootings in Colorado Springs, and San Bernardino.  Both were committed by people who felt justified in their actions.  Anything further is speculation.  I grieve for the fact that justification for mass murder is considered an option.  I don’t believe anyone has the right to kill people for any reason.  I understand that there are laws that sanction it.  I think they are wrong.

To steal existence from another is the ultimate arrogance.  To rob their loved ones of their existence, and to dismiss their future and potential is anathema to me.  I deliberately avoided news coverage of these events out of self preservation.  Some facts leaked through, regardless.  I saw an image of a black SUV riddled with high powered rifle impacts.  It was an image of massacre.  The murderers died by the same means as they inflicted on others.  Violence begets violence.  Live by the sword, die by the sword, blah blah blah.  It’s all bullshit.

You can’t punish a crime by committing the same crime.  This is illogical.  Taking a life in human history has most often resulted in a life being taken in retaliation.  We equate our grief with a right to seek revenge.  An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.  I was born into a blind world.  I was born into a world ruled by hatred and fear.  These are what motivate humanity as a whole.  These are literally chemical reactions within human brains.  Yet they are allowed to end the existence of millions of people.  Love, joy, and acceptance are also emotions, yet we reject these in the face of hatred and fear.  We walking chemical reactions are ruled by perceptions based solely on our emotions.

It seems like insufficient motivation to rule the human race.  Logic takes a back seat to emotion, when instead, it could be utilized as a guiding force to prevent such madness.  I’m an outsider.  My mind functions differently.  At times, the chemical reactions in my brain are random, and unrelated to my emotions or environment.  They rob me of control of my emotions, but don’t force action.  I sit back and observe, having had much experience with this phenomenon.  These experiences have allowed me to separate myself from my body.  From the community.  From the environment.  From the human race.

When I allow myself to interact with other humans, the eventual result is profound sadness. Something within me keeps experimenting, seeing if a tweak here or there will bring about new results.  I’m attracted to the goodness in others.  I can see it beneath the fear in most people with which I’ve interacted.  It’s motivations are love, joy, and acceptance.  This is goodness.  But the mask of fear usually surfaces, and eventually wears down my endurance, leading to deep sorrow.  I’m older now, and would like to be wiser.  I would like to limit my actions to logic.  I would like to step back permanently.  I know it’s within my ability.  I know that the longer I remain apart, the more difficult it becomes to communicate with others.  But if my goal is to remain separate, this becomes a desirable result.

Allowing my emotions to dictate my perceptions is a trap.  A trap that entangles me in the actions of others.  It traps me in an ocean of blindness.  I end up drowning rather than thriving.  And like anyone who is drowning, at one point, the will to survive becomes resolve in embracing the inevitable.  It’s time to let go.  If I am to continue, I have to do so on my terms.  I have to allow logic to be my guide, and I must avoid the trap.  The sadness I feel now will pass.  I will hold tight to goodness, and turn my back on fear.  I will dissociate myself from all who allow it to motivate their actions.  I will turn my energy to creating.  I will thrive in the joy of solitude.

Tolerance Begets Acceptance

It’s hot again.  I’m ready for winter.  I was loving the low 60’s during the day and 30’s at night.  I leave my bedroom window open and snuggle under a super soft blanket.  It’s so soft that my cat refuses to budge when she settles in.  I call her “Middle-of-the-Bed-Fred” when she does this.  It’s frustrating for about half a second, then it’s hilarious.  Sometimes I have to get completely out of bed, then lay down again in the portion of bed she leaves me.  As soon as I lay back down, she suddenly awakens from her coma, and crawls up against me again.  I usually end up with a narrow strip of space against the wall.  This is why I have a padded sideboard against the wall.  I end up being comfortably squished between that and my Little Precious.

I’m saddened by a trending topic on Twitter today.  I suspect it began as a tasteless joke, and ran amok from there.  I saw a tweet by a woman who called for a boycott of the upcoming Star Wars film, because it was contributing to white genocide in South Africa. Nothing in her tweet suggested she was anything but serious.  I don’t know what to think. I read more, and most were tweets using the same hashtag to demonstrate their disgust of the hashtag and boycott.  So now, a hashtag that would normally have never made it to trending status is suddenly the second most trending hashtag.

I understand the anger and hurt that drive people to keep doing this.  I’ve decided to ignore it.  I can’t in good conscience ask them to stop, because expressing their displeasure is a reasonable response.  It really hurts when someone rejects you for something you have no control over.  I’ve seen racism from black people and white people and everyone in between.  It’s always ugly, and it always hurts.  As a child, I was unable to cope with racism.  It led me to attempt suicide when I was only 12-years-old. As an adult, I have learned to cope with it.

I’ve learned how to look beyond the hate.  Hate is masked fear.  Fear is centered on ignorance.  Ignorance is something we all can work to overcome.  All it takes is a willingness to recognize it’s something we all have the ability to change.  When someone hates me verbally for the color of my skin, I don’t hate back.  I silently remind myself that this person hasn’t yet overcome his or her fear, and that they hold the potential to do so.  I will admit that I also hear the fear mantra from Dune simultaneously in my mind.

“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”

Reality

I got a job offer in Estonia.  I don’t speak Russian, and I don’t see myself learning Russian in a timely enough manner to take the position.  This was an attractive offer because I like the Russian spirit of brutal honesty.  I like that even their corruption is honest in that they don’t bother to hide it.  They enforce it with brutal violence, and it becomes the way of life.  The Russian people, regardless of how they feel about such a harsh world, go on living their lives.  They’re very fatalistic, too.  I watched a portion of a video of 3 Russians in a car that was submerged in a lake.  They were absolutely going to die from this predicament, and not one of them showed any signs of fear or alarm.  They had a very, “Oh, I’m going to die.  Goodbye”, attitude.  They accepted the inevitable, and didn’t try to change reality by wishing or praying or any other futile method of self deception.  I like that.

It’s a way of thinking with which I can relate.  As an autistic person, I could communicate with people who think that way.  They are honest and accept reality for what it is, as it is.  I can understand them.  Where I live, it’s almost the opposite.  I live in a red state where people are always kind to your face, profess a deep religious faith, and live the lifestyle of an atheist in secret.  When you go online, you find a lot of them on Reddit subforums engaging in orgies of hatred.  You see them on the news getting caught with child pornography on their computers.

I was raised here, but fortunately, I’m autistic,  African American, and I have always been an outsider in this world.  Not everyone here is like what I described above.  But they are the majority.  It’s not hard to live among them, because they are so concerned about how they appear to others, that they don’t spew their hatred publicly.  It’s supposed to be a secret.  The irony is the fact that the people they put forth the most effort to hide it from are the people who are doing similar shady things.

I can walk about town without a single person mistreating me.  It’s not that they respect my basic human right to exist unharmed.  They just don’t want anyone else to see them mistreat me.  I figured this out at a young age, and decided to be amused by it.  I didn’t vote for Obama, but as I stood in line, cursing McCain for partnering with Palin, a lot of people felt the need to tell me they were voting for him.  It was like they thought since I’m black, they were obligated to tell me they were voting for Obama.  I thought it was funny at first.  Then it felt wrong, so I left.  I don’t like it when people feel they have to overcompensate in order to avoid being identified as a racist.  Nothing about that is funny.

I don’t like phoniness or lies.  I don’t like it when people use manipulation in order to try and skew reality, or in an attempt to control another human being.  The fact is that all of these behaviors lead to self loathing.  Anything gained by lying, cheating, or being phony will not present the desired result in the long run.  It will only require you to continue lying, cheating, and being phony in order to convince yourself that your misbehavior was successful or justified.  In the long run, it hurts you far more than those you prey upon with deception.

Right now, I feel a lot of pressure from society to abandon all of my autistic traits, and accept their idea of normality.  I reject this.  I have a solid basis on which I make this decision.  While I don’t expect neurotypical people to conform to my way of thinking, I don’t appreciate their efforts in doing this to me. I’m not ill.  I don’t need some form of a cure that murders some of the traits that make me who I am.  I don’t buy into these subtle ideas of treatment, special diets, and therapies as a means of improving myself.  I see them as an opportunistic way of generating income.

This is why I want a physical world where I can live my life unmolested by these ignorant vultures who think they understand autism.  I want a large acreage where autistic people can live and support one another without the interference of those who are eager to fix what isn’t a problem.  It’s a symptom that some neurotypicals suffer.  A need to make everyone like them.  It’s a pretty primitive mindset.

I’m going to pursue my choice of living in a village where the population is mostly made up of autistic people.  It won’t require people there to be autistic, nor will it shun those who are neurotypical.  It will shun those who refuse to accept us as we are.  They have no place in my world.  I don’t know yet if I will continue living in the USA.  Serving in the Army was a great way to see my country naked.  I love the American people, and I love the land where we live.  But I do not love the corrupted government.  I don’t love the fact that money is the real god here.

When I joined the Army, I was a gung ho, naive patriot by default who thought America was the best country ever.  Now, I look back at that belief with sadness.  I fell for the lies they taught us in school, just as many others do.  The truth is, there is no perfect country.  Every nation has blood on her hands, and has committed atrocities in her history that explain why ‘The Game of Thrones’ is considered entertainment.  Patriotism is another word for ignorance.  It was a painful lesson.

Now that I’m aware of the fact that nationality is irrelevant in the big picture, my views have expanded to include all of humanity.  I don’t care about the color of your skin, your religion, your gender, your sexual identity, or your neurological variety.  I care about your character.  Do you choose to be a loving person because it’s what you want to be?  Than we can connect.  It’s about what you choose, not where you happened to be born, or how you were raised, or how much money is in your pocket.  This is what makes you who you are now, and who you’ll become in the future.  This is the only thing about a person that matters to me.  These are the people I can love, learn from, and live beside.  These are the people I care about, and want in my life.  The rest are on ignore.