September 1, 2014, Prescott- I read a rather inane discussion, a night or so ago, as to how to deal with an unruly child. The writer was venting his frustration with parents who don’t teach their children respect for others, from an early age. One person. also a friend of mine, came on with a Jonathan Swift-style “modest proposal”. Knowing this individual, it was completely satirical and sarcastic. Another individual advocated extreme physical punishment- of the child, as he “detests children”. Most likely, that individual had the childhood from Hell. I didn’t. In fact, despite my autism and tendency to wander, my family life was supportive, joyful and stable.
As our expectations rise, and our fears do not subside, there is a tendency to show intolerance of anyone who’s different- by age group, ability level, economic status, sexual orientation, marital status, race, gender- one here gets off scot-free Each of us bothers someone else and each of us is bothered, in like manner. The speed with which we live our lives, leaves no room for discomfort or adjustment. So, who has the issue?
I have to own my issues. I have made my family and friends cringe, when I have owned up to a serious mistake or foible. My reasoning has been, this is the only way to atone, or to rectify the error. Usually, that has left me vindicated in the long run, though it has made for short-term discomfort, especially financial. People are very intolerant of anything that costs them money.
I am no longer intolerant of others, by and large. I will not brook abuse of those weaker than the person who is striking out, especially if it is physical or sexual abuse. There are basic standards of decency. Differences which rankle, though, are presented to us by the Universe because to each of us is given the task of becoming more clearly, part of an organic whole. In my case, the answer has, so far, been patience. Most of those who have annoyed me, or who have attacked my views, both passively and aggressively, have come back around, so long as I don’t indulge in a counterattack. Maybe, that’s the bottom line.