Thursday, July 31, 2008

Exhausted and intruiged

Well between traveling and constant late night after a family reunion and getting home and immediately swinging into moving loads of boxes around and between apartments, I'm pretty beat. But for some reason my mind has trouble settling down at night.

So tonights wandering produced something fascinating. I was exploring Jim Sinclair's personal website. Probably the best way to sum up why I pay any attention to him is Jim started one of the earliest and long lived organizations for people on the autistic spectrum to meet and correspond with each other, and that organization in turn created probably one of the coolest and most imitated conference for people on the spectrum (as opposed to their parents and doctors), and was one of the earliest pioneers of the neurodiversity movement who was saying back in 1992 that it was ok for such people to just be themselves. They might very limited in some ways, they might be what no one expects of them, but the essential thing is that they are them and deserve happiness and acceptance like other people. An article written by him is posted as one of my "internet favorites," and is probably still one of the most profoundly presented pleas for acceptance and understanding that I've ever read. He got a lot of hate mail for it, and as of a few years occasionally still does.

Well, getting to the wow moment I had. Jim had better reasons than most to be primed to understand the entire issue of accepting people for who they are no matter how profoundly different they are from the norm. Jim was born neuter, but unlike most such people, had the chance to decide that is how Jim wanted to stay. Against the "better judgment" of others who wanted to induce superficial or half way changes to make (insert neuter 3rd person pronoun that doesn't imply inanimate object) superficially conform with their idea of what a happy human being should look like. Because of course, you can't be happy till you look like other people... But Jim decided to stay Jim.

All I can say is that one way or another everything has a purpose. Some things only have a purpose to the extent that they are a consequence of freedom's purpose, but there is always purpose. Other people could have done what Jim did, Jim was just one of that first group of pioneers. But I think it wouldn't have been as good without someone who could pen the beautiful wording in the above mentioned article, "Don't Mourn for Us."

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