Many people in this world live in extreme poverty. The treatment for poverty is prescribed in terms of charity, social welfare programs, and monetary benefits. The political machine that operates on our destiny, places people in draconian socioeconomic states where poverty can flourish. There are many kinds of poverty- mental, physical, and material. Some of us have no roof over our heads, no food, no one who can give them solace or protection. The environment of poverty is lacking in mental stimulation, replete with challenges that interrogate the physical body and spirit. This effects the learning experience and potential to advance in personal growth, leading to more poverty. Failure of our society to alleviate poverty is akin to our treatment of nonverbal autistics. Now autism is not poverty in the typical sense, however the social consequences are the same:
Individual opportunities are withheld due to a lack of resources and education
Minds are rendered useless by drugs and dysfunctional paradigms of behavior control
Misplaced statements of our worth- labels of functioning- destroy our spirit
Our voices are silenced by those who wield power
Despite these challenges many autistics persevere with the belief their lives have purpose. Defining our worth is a matter of personal conviction and, for some, a trust in a divine plan. During this time of pandemic, we see poverty and suffering collectively and individually manifest. Into each face is shown the power of our creator and the fragile nature of man. This is the nature of humanity’s impermanence. In the life of a disabled person, there exists an awareness of being transient in that our bodies are not in our control. We face the realization that our conscience is parameterized by how our neurological function dictates our perspective. All of us have unique perspective. But as an autistic person, moment by moment I navigate a social structure that underestimates my ability, my strength, and my intelligence… based on false perspectives. It is a constant struggle. Yet there I have found my worth. Starting the journey of my communication to crossing the divide of ignorance has made me a more patient and compassionate advocate. I have learned that during times of crisis we must take on this transient awareness. This too shall pass. Justice has its own design and we must uphold its principles. But we cannot control outcomes. They will grow organically from our intentions. We are all impoverished of things not in our control or possession. So, we must be grateful and generous. We must make time to listen to each other, discover new perspectives, and embrace our differences.
Only then will we find the truth beyond poverty.