This week I lost a ‘friend’. Maybe more than one. Why?
Because I challenged one of her ideas about technology, parenting, and autism openly on Facebook. She took it personally. Blamed me for people who stopped following her.
Now for me…I am exceedingly casual about such things. When I say…I don’t care if one person or 1 million read my blog/follow/like, I mean it.
I really do NOT play numbers games.
I want the right people. My tribe. Those for whom my message was sent. Primarily…parents who are seeking a better way of leading, mentoring, and enabling their #LittleHumans. And not just the #neurodivergent ones either.
I unfollow/unfriend and leave groups all the time that do not match my ideals. I say my peace and I leave. I do NOT consider it personal…and I do NOT make personal attacks. I challenge ideas, not people.
What is the difference, you may ask?
This is a personal attack that was posted by someone on Twitter…
This person questioned others’ right to have a position other than theirs. They demanded that the debate stop. They used demeaning and derogatory language about the person…
- having a different opinion becomes ‘bitching and moaning like five year-olds…
- having an opinion = shut the fuck up/grow the fuck up.
That is a personal attack, folks. It is markedly different…even from when I go head to head with an #AutismParent. And yes, those can get HEATED. And, yes, I can be the brunt of personal attacks. The nicest being called judgemental.
But still I stick to the subject. I point to specific instances of behavior or questionable methods. I make arguments about the science. I quote sources. And I often talk about the voice of the #ActuallyAutistic community.
One of the reasons I don’t make or take it persona is…I believe that most parents genuinely love their #LittleHumans. As much as they are capable that is. And I see these parents as prisoners of their own training and cultures. I know personally how challenging it can be to break from those. To stand up for your beliefs/methods…for the sake of your little human.
My purpose is NOT to make personal attacks at all. But rather to…
Plant seeds of doubt…
Even as these people defend their actions, they are being forced to examine them. And who knows maybe one day those seeds of doubt will grow and bear fruit. They will question what they are doing. And focus instead on…
- Unconditional Love
- …and Laughter…
But not if I say nasty things like…people like you should not even have children. (Even if a couple of times things have been so bad I thought it.) You’re an idiot. You don’t love your child. Or other personal attacks.
It is also WHY I choose to leave groups before things get more heated than they already are.
But what stopped me in my tracks…what caused me to write this blog at all…was my ‘friends’ assertion that you cannot challenge someone’s ideas without it being personal. Because people are their ideas. At least according to her.
That one is a total anathema to me. In fact, it has been the crux of my struggles with religion and philosophy, even psychology. I have found numerous ideas that I believed in. But when it came to their origins or their application I just shook my head in disgust. Ghandi said it well…
And while we are on the subject of Ghandi…
Ghandi is revered as a symbol of peace and as a champion for civil rights, but few people know of his not-so-shiny side. When his wife was stricken with pneumonia, British doctors informed Ghandi that a shot of penicillin would cure her. He refused to have alien medicine injected into her body, and she died shortly afterward. Soon after, Gandhi caught malaria and allowed doctors to save his life with quinine. He also tried to get all references to homosexual traditions removed from Indian temples in an act that he called “Sexual Cleansing.” While he did want India freed from British rule, he was fine with the country’s caste system, and believed in the purity of races. (45 True Facts about the Biggest Lies in History)
Likewise I am shocked that great minds such as Plato, Socrates, and pretty much everyone up until the last two hundred and fifty years just accepted slavery as natural…without questions. Yes, even the Christian bible talks about slaves and masters as if there were nothing wrong with one person OWNING another?!?!
When I read books such as Jean Jacques Rousseau’s Emile, I roll my eyes in disgust that such ‘forward thinking’ philosophers accept without questioning both sexism and racism.
If a person is their ideas…then EVERY single one would have to be tossed out. How can an ideal be good when the person is flawed?
Where I come from we have a saying…
Throwing the baby out with the bath water…
In other words, wisdom is taking the clean baby out of the tub before you throw the dirty water out the window.
To recognize that people and ideas are different.
Good people sometimes even #AutismParents can get caught up in bad ideas…honestly believe that they are just doing what is best for their child…that does not make them BAD.
That is why I question EVERYTHING! And EVERYONE…especially myself.
No person is perfect…and neither is any idea…but that is Part 2 of this conversation…
Just know that if I challenge your ideas…it is NOT personal.
Unless you choose to see it that way…in which case then you probably never were my ‘friend’. Because to me, friends ALWAYS challenge one another. As long as we play fair…no personal attacks.