Friday, October 2, 2015

Wisdom From Then...

First, I must thank the outpouring of support via the various forms of media I'm on in regards to yesterday's blog. Some asked me, "why so dark?" and the thing is I don't sugar coat emotions or my experiences. If I were to just paint this perfect picture that everything is going to be okay 100% of the time I wouldn't be telling the truth. Secondly, this is, for myself and what other parents have told me, the cycle I go through. A main concept of my 2nd book is that, "whatever is now is forever" which can create blinders as to what one has done because what has been done doesn't matter regardless of the size or scope. Thirdly, the event mentioned in yesterday's blog wasn't catastrophic to what I am doing or who I am. Some thought something of life changing proportions happened and it did not. Was it disappointing? Well, the blog from yesterday speaks for itself. Did it create a pit of despair? Yes. Will I get over it? Yes, and all of this got me thinking about what all the comments meant in that I've done so much and reached so many. The problem is that, the phone call mentioned yesterday, was a tangible meter that was clear cut. When it comes to being told I'm making a difference, or that I've changed a life, I can't fully understand or comprehend it. Perhaps this is for the better because it keeps me humble and honestly, I am truly oblivious to what I do which means I have to measure what I'm doing by other means. Oddly, I had a chapter in my original book that I'd like to share because it's fitting that my words from 2006 are as true now as forever so here it is, the chapter entitled, "How do I Win?"


How Do I Win?

 

            Early in one’s life, the foundation is set on values, ethics, and overall perception of life. This is quite dangerous for someone who has Asperger’s. How so? With everything I’ve written, I have constantly said that the firsts are important, and in recent thinking, I have learned that it is even more so.

            Parents with children affected have a fine line to tread. With my game theory, I stated that I operate best in a game because the rules outline actions taken. Life can become a game, though, and while the rules are unwritten, there’s one underlying question that I still haven’t answered, “How do I win?”

            From the point one can realize their surroundings, they are subjected to ways to win. Television bombards us with winning situations. These situations come in all sizes, whether it is the Road Runner outwitting the Coyote, or a contestant winning a huge wad of cash on a game show. Sitcoms even have winners, as someone always wins some social situation.

            If you aren’t watching television, video games are chock full of winning situations, as I am not sure if there’s any game that has an ending that is merely a tie. In movies, too, the good guy always wins.

            So with everyone being surrounded by winners, how does one win the game of life? How does one know if they are succeeding? Beyond that, what are the criteria for even playing the game?

            This is why parents have a thin sheet of ice to skate on and why they have to be completely unselfish. Should, in the early years of a child’s life, the parent teach that anyone unlike them is bad, part of the game will be to hate others. Should the parent only care about them and no one else, the game of life becomes a solitary game. Should the parent physically beat those around them to maintain their dominance, the child will learn that the game of life is to have complete power.

            So if the parent teaches what the criteria is, then when the child grows up, how will they know if they’ve won? The problem is they won’t. Physical abuse will become worse because there will be no bells, whistles, or confetti that says, “Congratulations, you have complete control and everyone hates you!”

            We are constantly shown graphics of how any event is going. Tune into CNBC and they’ll show you a thousand different charts of how any given financial thing is going. Tune into ESPN and they’ll show you a graph of how any given football team has done the past five years. With either of those two things, though, what is there beyond the graph? What happens after a team wins the Super Bowl? What is there left to do? And with the financial markets, how does one know when something has gone up enough? In other words, once you’ve won, why play on? What is there left to do?

            Is enjoyment of life the way to win? If so, when does one fully win? We are taught that everything has a beginning and an end, as games have rules with ends, and your favorite TV show probably ends at the top of the hour, but how does one win this game? Is death the final way to win? Is life like a timed game of “Monopoly,” and when the clock reaches zero, one is judged on the accumulated wealth?

            All of these questions are truly relevant, but imagine what my questions would be had my parents been full of hate and rage. The hate and rage would have been passed on, and perhaps the questions asked wouldn’t be so innocent. Life’s goals may truly be unclear, and a winner may never be announced, but in the end, perhaps, it’s not who wins the game, but how you play the game—even if you don’t know what game you’re playing or how to play.

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