A Different View of Diversity

On my daily rounds of the Internet, I try to keep to things that are inspiring and positive, unlike news (whether fake or “official”), but I could not resist a comparison between someone giving a personal answer to the question of whether Aspergers can be “fixed” and an article on the ideology of “identity politics”.

To quote the view of someone with Aspergers, with which I can perfectly identify:

I simply happen to think differently from many people on this planet. Some might say I have problems on a social level; I simply think I don’t need some of the ‘trappings’ that seem important to folks not on the spectrum. I am not impressed by status, not interested in most material things, can’t be bothered by gossip and more interested in looking at people without all these ‘add ons’. My inner life is ‘rich’ and I treasure that.

The longer I study this question and see these little points of view, the more I see what Christ seems to have been all about: that famous paradox of the humble being given the highest places and the haughty being told to leave the places they had usurped. Maybe my own life would have been more “successful” with a better social sense – definitely at seminary where I spent as much time alone as possible. This disassociation from the “world” coincides so perfectly with the Gospel idea “and the world knew him not” and so many more expressions especially in St John. To me, I seem to have received a gift that is humbling and filled with light.

I also seem to have received the ability to detect human sophistry (worldly wisdom) in such a way that I simply don’t understand many people around me. One example is this article Identity Politics vs white people that appeared in an alternative news site I occasionally consult. On one hand, I understand the animosity felt in regard to aggressive and insensitive men who historically have exploited those they have defeated by brute strength and competition. I have no sympathy with right-wing politics and the subordination of the human person to the totalitarian collective, but I also eschew this desire for revenge, for an equal and opposite reaction.

Whatever happens in the future, we are best off by taking our distance, both physically and ideologically. Someone is trying to stir up a war between right and left, black and white, homosexual and heterosexual, men and women and so forth. Perhaps one advantage with Aspergers is that we don’t have issues with women, people of other races, those who live their lives as they are and getting by as best as possible in an imperfect world. Perhaps the best way to work for inclusion of diversity is oneself to accept one’s own difference and personality, and then we understand that no two persons are the same except for any superficial external characteristics.

I am concerned that this “identity politics” ideology may lead to something dreadful like Stalinism or Orwell’s Big Brother, perhaps an all-out war between races, religions and any differences. Then, to survive, we would all have to be the same like new cars coming off the assembly line of a factory. My impression is that the ideology is so absurd and stupid that it cannot survive and would do little more than cause blowback against those who are protesting that white males are different from what they think they are.

Such is the world:

If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me. – John xv. 18-27

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2 Responses to A Different View of Diversity

  1. Fr. David Marriott SSC says:

    ‘Perhaps the best way to work for inclusion of diversity is oneself to accept one’s own difference and personality, and then we understand that no two persons are the same except for any superficial external characteristics’: this is the truth which lies behind the statement: ‘Love thy neighbour as thyself’. It is only when you appreciate and understand all the good and the bad in yourself that you can validly ‘love thyself’ – warts and all, and it is only when we have done this that we can honestly and validly love the other….and it is not and never will be easy!!

    The harm and disruption of which you speak is simply a reflection of Job chapter one, where God asks Satan, ‘Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.’ It is time for the prophets of this world and time to issue a call for repentance: we need to realise that Satan is still to this day ‘going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it’.

    • Thank you. Some of your notions remind me of an article I was reading about the Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson.

      Just a sample:

      ‘Happiness’ is a pointless goal. Don’t compare yourself with other people, compare yourself with who you were yesterday. No one gets away with anything, ever, so take responsibility for your own life. You conjure your own world, not only metaphorically but also literally and neurologically. These lessons are what the great stories and myths have been telling us since civilisation began.

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