When We Try to Fit Everyone in a Box....
There was a Tagalog poem which I read when I was in college, "Ako ang Daigdig" ("I am the world") by Alejandro G. Abadilla. The poem impressed me not just with its content, but so much more with its style. It was different and in so many ways, was a real strong and proud proclamation of one's uniqueness. This month is "Autism Awareness Month". The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States have recently released the following data:
|Above image and caption from
Ten Things to Know About New Autism Data
Every self is a universe, surrounded by other selves, all of whom are moving through a world of their own construction that exists in a vast, maybe infinite, physical universe.
This is the dichotomy of the physical/psychosocial reality.
Can We Categorize?
Confronted with a reality of such scope and magnitude, it’s natural to want to make sense of it somehow, to put things in boxes, to file phenomena into one category or another. It may be the only way we are not paralyzed by confusion and perceived chaos, stuck in wide-eyed wonderment. But is it worth it to even try and understand?
People are dynamic, multi-dimensional, multi-layered creatures. No two are alike. It would be impossible to try to say that everyone fits into one of, say, seven categories. But we are all still people, confronted with the same physical reality and instilled with the survival instinct, the biological imperative, the desire for acceptance and fulfillment, and the will and ability to affect our own reality.
Pieces of us can and do fit into boxes.
One Box of ManyI am ending the quote with the title of the next section, "One Box of Many". What is that "One Box of Many"? That classroom in that Jewish community center is an example of one box. In so many ways, we are all the same. Yet, we are really all different. It is with this understanding that we must now realize what a teacher may be facing inside his or her classroom. The kids are all different.
|Autism is showing that brilliant minds think differently and we need to open up our eyes and see what they see to truly understand that. (68 Things to Know About Autism)