Friday, December 31, 2010

The Old Boy and Autistic Pride

I had been meaning to write this since the 25th, but ended up posting about compassion instead. Why have I been meaning to write it since Christmas? Because it's about the significance of a Christmas gift that was given to me by my younger sister.

It was a frame, and inside the frame were objects that she felt represented me. There were poker cards and chips, as well as a couple pictures... and a Pokemon card and arcade tokens. To understand the significance of this, you must understand the legend behind the name of Lao Tzu.

You see, Lao Tzu is not actually a name. It's more along the lines of a title. Now, there has been debate in the past about what exactly it means (there are those that believe it means "Old Master" rather than the legend), but the legend is that it means "The Old Boy." Whether it actually means this or not, a sort of playful attitude towards life has been an important part of Taoism from the start.

The arcade tokens and Pokemon card were meant to signify that this is something that I still have. This playful attitude so often fades or even disappears as a person leaves their childhood behind. And I don't claim to have kept it all, but I'm glad I held onto as much as I did. My life hasn't been the easiest (I might go into detail in the future, but the difficulties in my life are beyond the scope of this post), but I still have much more than most people do. I retained considerably more than people who have gone through even one of these hardships.

What do I attribute this to? Being autistic. Some of these hardships seem to affect people because of the way society views them. Others affect people because of the importance they place on themselves. For the first: How society views anything has very little effect on me. For the second: As I've said, my mind is a very logical one, and I've been able to set aside the effect of self-importance on those hardships.

Most certainly, a strong spiritual nature (first when I thought I was Christian and later Taoism) has helped, but I doubt I could have retained that spiritual nature if not for my autistic mind.

As I've said before, these hardships have affected me, but not to the point that they seem to affect others. If not for me being autistic, I would never have been able retain my view on the world.


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