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Showing posts with label Compassion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Compassion. Show all posts

12.22.2018

Autism. The blind pathologizing those .... >>>



Autism. The blind pathologizing those who have sight? Extraordinary insights from my friend. Empathy deficit? Deep empathy overload. Overloaded souls in a sick world.

To my friend who has children with autism I sent this video that you've probably seen, along with the following note. And my friend replied.

Depressed and Then Diagnosed With Autism, Greta Thunberg

I wrote: I so relate to this young person. I've often wondered if I am on the autistic Spectrum though that is supposed to involve profound lack of empathy and that does not seem to be my problem. Hugs

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/12/19/depressed-and-then-diagnosed-autism-greta-thunberg-explains-why-hope-cannot-save


My friend: ahhhhhh well that's the very very common and very very wrong assumption that so many make about those with autism...even folks who are supposedly experienced and trained make this mistake all too often....that those on the spectrum lack empathy. I have never seen this to be the case. Not in my children and certainly not in any of the other autistic folks I've been around of any age. If anything it is more suffering from a profound SURPLUS of empathy and being near paralyzed by it that is far more typical. And I read more and more articles that back up this more radical view.

It is more a lack of empathy on the part of the caregivers and the researchers in my opinion that leads them to this very wrong conclusion. Because they fail so utterly to understand the motivations and reactions of these unique individuals. Because how could they understand? Their brains are not wired at all the same.

Here's an example. When my child was in 2nd grade he got suspended and I was called down to the office to school for a "very serious" incidence of my child apparently "BULLYING" another child. I was shocked, flabbergasted and appalled that his teachers and administrators at the school so utterly failed to see who my child is and what he is capable of. So I went to the school and listened to all the things they accused my child of. Here was the tale: there was another student who was having a hard time, crying, throwing a tantrum, apparently inconsolable. and while the teachers and "responders" were trying their hardest to contain the situation, My child was absolutely incapable of following the instructions all the other students were given to ignore what was going on and get back to work. What /they/ saw was that my child walked over and started laughing in close proximity to the boy. In defiance of their orders. So they interpreted that as malicious, as him laughing AT the boy and trying to make things worse. Which somehow escalated into him being a bully. So I kept quiet and listened as they all scrambled to roll out this story about my son that not a single bone in my body felt was true. When they concluded I said, well, what did my child tell you happened when you asked him? And they all stopped and looked at each other and said, well, we didn't ask him. We just sent your child to the office for disobeying and making everything worse for everyone. Your child was being a BULLY they insisted.

So I said, did my child cause the student to be sad? or upset? No, no your child didn't do that. I said, okay well my child is in the next room, go ask my child. So my child came in and looked red and ashamed and vulnerable and sad and I said, can you tell me why you laughed when that boy was having a hard time? And my child started crying and said through his tears, "I was laughing because the teachers told us that laughter was the best medicine for sadness, so I wanted to go over and cheer him up"

You could have heard a pin drop. I smiled and looked at my child and said, "of course you did honey, thank you, that's what I thought. You need to know that most people didn't understand that's what you were trying to do, and that most people here don't think the way you do, so you may have to occasionally explain to them what you're doing so they understand."

So they let my child go back into the other room. And I stared them down and said, okay, so first you're going to tear up that piece of paper that uses the word BULLY that you want me to sign and put in my child’s permanent record. And then you're going to find a way to apologize to my my child for traumatizing him over my child’s misguided attempts to help a friend in need. And then you're going to let my child get back to class and learn some stuff rather than punish my child for giving a fuck.

ANYWAYS, they did all the things I asked. And my child has been treated and responded to differently ever since. They now understand that my child is NOT even capable of lying and if anything is more likely to get in trouble by confessing to doing things my child thinks maybe shouldn't have even when nobody is looking for someone to blame. They also understand that my child’s heart, even if actions are awkward and confused because of difficulty connecting with and understanding how to interact with neurotypical folks, is in the right place. It's gotta be so frustrating and challenging for my child when I'm not there to help translate for or advocate for him, but my child's getting better at doing that all the time.

James, I'd say, there's a pretty strong chance you are on the higher functioning end of the autism spectrum. I know that I very likely am. It's just that being female for some reason makes the symptoms different, less severe, than it can present in males. I suffer greatly at times from an excess of empathy. It's crippling, if you look at it in a way...but in other ways it's enormously liberating, because I can see and understand things at a level so many others seem utterly incapable of. Fascinating, really...

Thank you for sharing this :) I love reading stories of children standing up to asshole adults Heart.

My friend provided some of the research and I found a third piece easily.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/a-radical-new-autism-theory

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/aspergers-alive/201303/guide-reporting-autism-theory-mind-empathy

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/out-the-darkness/201705/is-autism-really-empathy-disorder

The blind Society pathologizing those who can see.

PS. What a tremendous contribution from my friend, and personally I find it extremely Illuminating on my own life. A shallow empathy cripple am I, but deep empathy, not so much. For much of my years I yearned for the reverse. But for decades now I have understood it as my wealth. My soul. My life. Thank goodness it was never the reverse.

12.12.2018

Most important book in the world, the other one. Great Transformation, Karen Armstrong. I'm on my first of



Most important book in the world, the other one. Great Transformation, Karen Armstrong. I'm on my first of what I expect to be several readings. Slowed by my arduous first priority of writing a review of the other most important book, great because it is not as toxic as the other books of psychology, spiritual evolution, George Vaillant.“The one and only test of a valid religious idea, doctrinal statement, spiritual experience, or devotional practice was that it must lead directly to practical compassion. Ifyour understanding of the divine made you kinder, more empathic, and impelled you to express this sympathy in concrete acts of loving-kindness, this was good theology. But if your notion of God made you unkind, belligerent, cruel, or self-righteous, or if it led you to kill in God’s name, it was bad theology. Compassion was the litmus test for the prophets of Israel, for the rabbis of the Talmud, for Jesus, for Paul, and for Muhammad, not to mention Confucius, Lao-tzu, the Buddha.…. “

10.31.2018

The Charter for Compassion The principle of compassion lies at the heart of all religious, ethical and spiritual traditions, calling us always to treat all others as we wish to be treated ourselves. Compassion impels ....

The Charter for Compassion
The principle of compassion lies at the heart of all religious, ethical and spiritual traditions, calling us always to treat all others as we wish to be treated ourselves. Compassion impels us to work tirelessly to alleviate the suffering of our fellow creatures, to dethrone ourselves from the centre of our world and put another there, and to honour the inviolable sanctity of every single human being, treating everybody, without exception, with absolute justice, equity and respect. It is also necessary in both public and private life to refrain consistently and empathically from inflicting pain. To act or speak violently out of spite, chauvinism......

https://charterforcompassion.org/english

6.26.2016

### Yes, I am usually so scathing , so critical , so pessimistic about the future. Yes. But I think I am seeing a level of Citizen work that I certainly have not seen in fifty years or more. Millions.......

### Yes, I am usually so scathing , so critical , so pessimistic about the future. Yes. But I think I am seeing a level of Citizen work that I certainly have not seen in fifty years or more. Millions of citizens here and abroad turning attention away from selfish short-term pleasures to matters of Greater importance to the collective. This is important at least for themselves and for those around them. Joy is in the attempt to reduce the world's suffering. The individuals devoting more of their lives to this task become a demonstration of the path to those around them.

4.16.2016

***** I find that wonder and awe are the ultimate Hallmarks of Life, as odd as that may seem. I find virtually no wonder and awe among the humanoids here in Washington DC, my.......

***** I find that wonder and awe are the ultimate Hallmarks of Life, as odd as that may seem. I find virtually no wonder and awe among the humanoids here in Washington DC, my sisters and brothers all. Certainly not among the intellectually, academically, over privileged. I wish I were kidding. I wish I were being cynical. And I find very little of it among my fellow humans here in the United States.

1.16.2016

***** A Muslim couple, from Iran, approached me today where I was on post from early morning till evening at the George Washington University Whole Foods Market with the free Palestine vehicle, we talked, and they said, you are such a good man. I replied, I am the consummately selfish man. The part of me that is Palestinile is in agony. I simply am trying to make the agony, my agony, stop. I think it was at that point that my Muslim sister began to cry.

A Muslim couple, from Iran, approached me today where I was on post from early morning till evening at the George Washington University Whole Foods Market with the free Palestine vehicle, we talked, and they said, you are such a good man. I replied, I am the consummately selfish man. The part of me that is Palestinile is in agony. I simply am trying to make the agony, my agony, stop. I think it was at that point that my Muslim sister began to cry.

1.01.2016

5.08.2015

SPDF: Medical update, Fri a.m. 050815

Please note: I mean my comments at the end about this hospital to be encouraging to the staff. But make no mistake, everything I said is exactly truthful and based on my for decades of experience both in and leading high performance organizations. this is not confidential and please share it widely. If there is any other way I can help please let me know.

One of the surgeons came in to speak with me this morning.  

They will be releasing me sometime this after noon.

Yesterday morning it occurred to me that two elements that I considered important about my situation I had never heard said back to me in dialogue with these wonderful surgeons. So I respectfully and politely took a moment to try and be sure that they were clearly registered in the minds of these brilliantly capable folks. And that's pretty much how I introduced the two points. 1. That the first incident of bowel obstruction occurred about 3 months ago. 2. That two weeks ago yesterday I completed a 52 day hunger strike where I took only about 100 calories per day and broth and/or tiny cubes of sugar so that I could complete the 20 to 40 block walks necessary for my unpaid lobbying work.

Based on my conversation this morning, clarifying these points, was time well spent.

By the way, aside from some symptomatic fullness that I experienced yesterday evening, my abdomen felt pretty normal during the course of consuming solid foods yesterday and through the night including through this very moment. 
 
To summarize the key points from the doctor this morning: A. they have no doubt and we mutually agree that I have had a whole series of between mild and complete intestinal blockages, doubtless due to the inevitable scarring from the surgeries that so far have saved my life, B. The 52 day hunger strike is likely a major factor in the distress I've had of the last two weeks. Their strong recommendation this morning, the first time I have received anything like this recommendation in all my doctor encounters the last two weeks, their strong recommendation is that I go extremely extremely extremely extremely lightly and carefully on food for the next two to four weeks. This wonderful doctor said, don't go have a hamburger today, don't have one for several weeks. Take it very very very very slow. As you have been, eat your meals very very very very slowly, don't have anything heavy, stop when you begin feeling the least bit full, don't hesitate to skip a meal or two, lots of broth, mashed potatoes....

In response to my question about under what conditions should I contact the team or return to the hospital: any prolonged severe pain of 1 or 2 hours or more, come to the hospital. Any symptoms that are less severe but suggest that the pattern of obstructions is continuing, call the surgical team and schedule an appointment to come in for a consultation.

.............

I went down to the hospital management offices yesterday and asked to speak to someone about a customer satisfaction issue. Quickly they made a representative available to me and we went into a private office. I spent the next 10 or 15 minutes documenting in every way I could why I perceived that this hospital is easily one of the best in the world, from the folks that cheerfully , promptly, professionally drive one in a wheelchair down to x-ray, the housekeeping staff, the nurses, the surgeons ( the Fishbein the Banovac team the Carol team... ), the Doc He cancer team that is the reason I am still alive, the kitchen,, radiology, the tech team, the emergency room team 2 Bless, 4 Main ( where I recovered from the liver section ) .... It is a breathtakingly wonderful collection of individuals and competence and kindness. The recruiting must be brilliant, and the management must be sufficiently good that it is not extinguishing the excellence of these recruits.
And the inclusiveness, breathtaking. Black, white, brown, yellow, Catholic, Christian, Muslim, female, male....

Universally respectful, professional, kind, courteous, competent....

Excellent communication. Excellent listening....

Accommodating, efficient....

This hospital is a testament to how things should be.

And all of this delivered to a homeless bum (as was Jesus before us) with tattoos on his face.

" as you do unto the least of these my family, you do unto me."

" they will know you by how you love."

" do unto others all that you would have them do unto you."

5.07.2015

***** From my most revered activist sister in Texas: Are you autistic by any chance?......

[ dear reader, if you have any expertise, or insights you feel highly worth sharing with me, please do. ]

From my most revered activist sister in Texas: Are you autistic by any chance?   ( she was responding to a really wonderful, really extraordinary, really insightful article I shared with some of you yesterday and posted on this site, and article if she really liked. 
http://jesusgodgoodetcnjay.blogspot.com/2015/05/wow-wow-wow-so-thats-it-about-me-huh.html )
My reply: Never diagnosed, but I have a long-held suspicion that I am somewhere on the spectrum.

What we consider social skills in this society, mine are absolute zero. I prize, I treasure, my interpersonal skills as it comes to problem solving, diagnosing, healing and helping, and when it comes to being self serving they are 0. The self-serving social skills we prize in this society are morally abhorrent to me and have been since my earliest memory. I was a straight C student all the way through the end of high school. I could not study the stuff they put in front of us. I could not. I could not. I could not pay attention to homework. I could not pay attention in class. Could not. Could not. Could not.....

But put me out in the woods? Put me in front of great art of any genre?.... and my peers are clueless, my peers are totally uninterested when I was young, or now, & I was totally absorbed, totally got it. 

As a young person, put me in a room full of low feeling, self absorbed, socially adept people, and I want to curl up and die from the agony of alienation and embarrassment from feelings of inadequacy. Now, I'm just totally disinterested and unwilling to waste one nanosecond on such things. Lol.  
Ask a young person, put me where someone is suffering, someone is unhappy, and I feel it, I empathize with it, I share it, I respond.  Put me in the presence of someone who is being persecuted, someone who is suffering injustice, and the agony is mine. Oh, I was pathologically selfish, but I could not not feel, the suffering of others, & I could not not respond.
And on questions of right and wrong, figures like Rosa Parks, Eleanor Roosevelt, Gandhi, King... my young peers were beyond yawning, beyond disinterested, and I was totally absorbed, totally feeling like I was paying attention to my real kin.

Put me out in the virgin forest, all by myself, hour after hour after hour, after day, after week... and I am happy as a pig in x.....

So, I don't know. Was I on the spectrum? Am I?

her reply, she has extensive knowledge on the subject:

you sound like you have a whole lot in common with my  late teen nephew.. Another thing he cannot do? He can't lie. If his life depended on a lie, he couldn't do it. Isn't in his nature. I always considered nephew a little Budda. And he never had a friend. zero social skills. ha

my reply:   that is really, really, really helpful to hear. I can and do tell small lies when I think it can be constructive in a situation. When I think it is destructive it is impossible for me, it does not matter the price I have to pay personally. Not possible. autism or not, the article I shared makes me think a lot of you. No?

by the way, never a friend. I never had a friend. well, sort of my dad. He was 1 trillion percent devoted to me, and I to him. Come to think of it, we probably had the same diagnosis, exactly. But up through high school, never a friend, and then my friend, he was the most socially skilled guy in school. I loved him dearly, and he and his family had some weird, deep, affection for me. But we were opposites, and have had no relationship since. And then I married the most brilliantly, highly, socially skilled person I have ever witnessed besides Bill Clinton. And that unleashed 27 years of solitary hell for us both. Lol.

another friend, trained in psychology, with extensive personal experience concerning autism replied:   
After reading about you and your experience as a child, I would have to say that you are not on the autism spectrum... You are however a truly compassionate person who was sensitive to his surroundings and not sparked by the teachers or family members to engage in social interaction or given the proper sensory input to maintain intrest. Environmental deprivation. You are amazing just as you are. I do wish things had been different for you as a young person!

my reply:   You are so wonderful to have read and reply. I pray that you read both those articles. The article on highly sensitive people, I don't recall ever reading anything where I felt so spoken to, so recognized. I say that in the context of your compassionate statement that you wish I had had a different childhood. That article on highly sensitive people speaks to the fact that those of acute aesthetic sensitivity, which is what I believe describes me young med and old, such people experience higher levels of pain than others, including isolation and solitude and loneliness, but they also experience substantially higher levels of joy, and that has always been my life. So, no, although I didn't understand it at the time, I feel so undeservingly blest with every aspect of my life situation. I never have envied anyone for quality of life ever




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