Friday, December 13, 2019

Greta Thunberg

All of us who live life in the autism spectrum hope that our children can find purpose in their lives.  We hope that they can find the means to contribute to the world.  We hope that they can be treated with respect, and love, and humility.  And if we are truly lucky, we will see them touch humanity in their own special way.

Tyler has found ways to touch people's lives.  As I've written about over the last few years, he had a profoundly positive effect on some of his "basketball buddies" at school.  So much so, that one young man gave Tyler his team practice jersey to show his appreciation.  Tyler also touches lives through this blog.  His story and inspiration (for which I simply interpret and put into words) have reached tens of thousands of people around the world.  His Bibles have touched the souls of his congregation and beyond.  He has made a positive mark on the world.

Greta made a decision, her own decision, a few years ago to speak out for the wellbeing of our planet.  In this journey, she has met with Popes and dignitaries.  She has spoken at the UN, begging for people to take this seriously.  She believes (as do I) that the situation is becoming more dire every day.  While most of us try to do a small part, like recycling or buying things we believe to be more environmentally green, she has taken it to the world stage.  

Let's not lose focus on this point, Greta has Asperger's Syndrome, which makes the world stage all the more difficult for her.  Yet despite the natural inclinations for her to avoid the very things that she is doing, she speaks directly to the heart of the matter.  She does so without regard for fame, fortune, or even criticism.  Yet criticism does come from those who don't believe in her message.  Because her message threatens their personal agenda, she comes under fire in personal attacks.  

The Brazilian President labeled her as a "brat".  Our own immature leader tried to look down on her saying that she needed to "chill" and that she had "anger management issues".

If we unpack those statements, its easy to see the complete lack of respect and humility that they represent.  Here we have a 16-year-old on the autism spectrum who is fighting for a cause that she believes in.  Whether or not someone believes in the same cause or not is irrelevant.  We should applaud her (as TIme magazine did) for her conviction and bravery.  Rarely have we seen a neurotypical teenager take a leadership role in the world, much less a young lady on the spectrum.  Instead, she faces the ignorance of those who have no other agenda than to spread hate and evil.

As I have said many times before, despite attempts to call my views "too political", WORDS DO MATTER.  And those words have profound effects on the special needs world.  Greta represents an amazing opportunity to encourage and honor the efforts of a young lady on the spectrum.  And while many people are thankfully doing that, still others think their personal attacks are appropriate.  They are not.  They are disgusting.  But worse yet, they are meant to demean the efforts and accomplishments of someone who was not born with the privileges of a typical processing system.  The comments by our supposed leader and others are steeped in jealousy and ignorance, and they should be denounced.  

Would someone say that Tyler is just a "puppet" because he gives out Bibles to those who need them?  Do I need to "chill" because I choose to take this message and others to the world stage?  

Lets give this young lady the respect and honor owed to her.  She is a young woman on the spectrum trying to make an impact on the world.  A world, which nearly all scientists agree, need people just like her to fight for.

Be well and God bless.    Tom

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