Love to go around
It’s been a crazy month for me. My social calendar exploded, pod work is coming together into maybe a publication, I’m getting into the thick of bike coop functionings including the upcoming space reorg, and somewhere in there I’m trying to make time for spiritual explorations. My post ideas list is growing. In the last month I have been thinking about fun things like how baleen whales feed and how to run a wiki and plasticity acclimation vs adaptation and the nature of inquiry and science. But I think I have decided to let today’s post be inspired by what happened in Newtown last week and what a person is to do after the tragedy has happened and we as a community are left to pick up the pieces.
This is not going to be a post about gun control. I will let people who know about the situation of guns and have a personal stake in the matter in this country have that discussion. My personal feeling is that we need to make it harder for some people to get their hands on guns that can cause so much destruction so easily. But I also understand that some people feel very strongly about being able to have guns. Guns are cool and I can see the allure of keeping and firing a well oiled piece of machinery. Where do we draw the line well there’s going to have to be many conversations but as long as there isn’t mutual respect and understanding I think the stalemate is going to continue. If you are interested in this you might want to check out this podcast.
This is going to be a post about mental health, but not so much in terms of what needs practically to be done on the street and in the country. That again is for more knowledgeable people to think about. I can only share that in my personal experience I think that one of the big problems is that we don’t have enough mental healthcare professionals and therefore people are slipping through the cracks. I am one of those people who nearly slipped through a crack when I went through some personal stuff recently. As for why we don’t have enough professionals and whether that is due to not enough people and or funding shortfalls I don’t know anything about that but that is one place where the conversation needs to lie.
What I know is that instead of relying on too few mental healthcare professionals the brunt of mental healthcare to some extent can be shared amongst the greater community. You don’t need to be a psychologist to respect and understand and be kind to the next person on the street. This is not to say that you should seek out mentally disturbed individuals to connect with because some of them can be really scary and you have to keep yourself safe and perhaps those cases are indeed better left to the professionals. But there are so many of us who are not on that end of the spectrum but still slightly different from what is perceived as “neurotypical” or “normal” and we are all very nice people who just like everyone else want to be understood and loved. I use the quotes because I don’t believe in labels but some people do and that is something they can relate to. In relation to Lanza there have been some posts recently about aspies and how to relate. How about this: when you meet someone greet them with love and an intent to learn about them as they are.
If you are “NT” and want some insight into how aspies perceive the world there are some good blogs online. Here is one. Sometimes aspies can be overwhelmed by the amount of information coming through and one of the tendencies is to shut down completely and withdraw internally to deal with the hundred things spinning internally. This is ok just roll with it. This ties in with something else I’ve been thinking about lately which is how our brains work and how do we collect information and process information and store information and retrieve information and express information. It is pretty fascinating stuff. Idk if I am aspie. I have some aspie traits like extreme introversion and although I have a large vocabulary sometimes I have to search super hard to find the right words to express my rich internal world and this becomes harder when I am tired and stressed and calibrating my innate desire to share with social appropriateness has been kind of a hard one for me all my life and I have an almost but not quite rainman-like ability to remember lists of words and numbers and I don’t seem to relate emotionally like most people I know do (not unemotional just different in a way that I’m still trying to figure out how to describe; one thing I’ve noticed is that most people I know seem to attach emotional weight to certain words and ideas and symbols and that is quite baffling for me and this is what might have contributed to the implosion of my last relationship). Suffice to say I am one of those slightly odd individuals and we live in a world where it has taken me >28 years of being a chameleon and soul-searching to become comfortable expressing who I am and I think we can do better.
So love to go around. That is my proposal for how to pick up the pieces and move forward from something horrific that happened.