Now, I like to think of myself as a fairly easy-oasy sort of chap. I’m pretty laid back, non-argumentative and willing to discuss differences with people even if I find their views abhorrent. In fact I try to be fairly tactful in most aspects of my life.
I don’t always follow my own mantra! Unfortunately I have a huge red “RAGE!” button hidden somewhere in my deep subconscious that every now and again gets pressed by someone online when they say something (IMHO) seems harmful and stupid.
Today, this tweet pushed that button.
Here was someone replying to another tweeter who mentioned a young ASD child who had particular interests in dates and the calendar had remembered her birthday.
This tweeter (who I have anonymised to stop people flocking to spam her with hateful tweets) apparently is a counselling psychotherapist seemed to suggest that anything that did not translate directly into an employable skill should be quashed.
Cue the flood-gates opening and swarms of ASD tweeters and/or their parents flooding in and telling the tweeter above how idiotic her idea was. And the tweeter’s response? Pretty much to block anyone who did not agree with her blinkered world view!
As a child I always wanted to be an Astronaut (although I probably said “Spaceman” when I was very young!) at primary school and early secondary I was an authority on Spaceflight, the planets (and their moons) , the astronauts themselves, their spacecraft, dates, times and the mechanics of getting into orbit and the physics of spaceflight both real and fictional.
Needless to say, I did NOT become an astronaut !
Instead, my interests in space sequed into interests in physics, which in turn launched my already keen interest in numbers and math into the upper atmosphere! Eventually this wannabe Yuri Gagarin , Neil Armstrong or Beowulf Shaeffer (as I said.. some science fiction was read ;P ) became a fully fledged (and decidedly earthbound) mathematician !
The person that posted the tweet that made me so angry would probably have quashed my astronaut dreams in childhood. I am DEEPLY opposed to this on two levels.
- As per my personal case study above, there’s no telling what interest/interests can instigate or trigger in later years. A penchant for dates or calendars may develop into anything ranging from Mathematics or History.
- Life is too short to just work. As I have said time and time again , we are unique wondrous beings, positively mayfly in our existence when compared against the vast scope of the universe. We’re all “one of’s” never before has there existed someone like us and never again will there be. Life is too short and time too precious to not enjoy life. We should find any spark of joy and pleasure and fan and fuel it until it burns brightly and spreads warmth and joy through your being and those around you.
Alas, seems like some would want to take these embers of joy and pour cold water on them, extinguishing joy and replacing it with cold hard reality and a lifelong sentence of misery.