You Are Not A Tree…

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Too many of us lament that we can’t get jobs where we were born and raised. That seems especially true of the poorest areas of the country including Appalachia. Jobs just aren’t very plentiful there. The deep South is another example.  It would be nice is all areas of the country were full of gainful employment. But given our foundations in almost pure capitalism that will never happen.

On a side note, it is kinda ironic that the States that rail the most against socialism vote primarily with the GOP and are the ones that have the most citizens who depend on social programs such as Medicaid, food stamps and such.  I know education levels enter into it but why don’t more of those folks just move to where there are more economic opportunities?  I have pondered that question for longer than I care to remember.

It does bug me to hear people complaining about this or that, especially when they could do something it.  Many times it really doesn’t take that much effort. I think that the major issue is their dogged resistance to change.  I and many others welcome the uncertainty associated with change as just part of progress, but others seem to be deathly afraid of it.

If you don’t like where you are, move. You are not a tree

I couldn’t have said it better.

(WS) Autism In The Elderly?

 

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When I got a recent comment from one of my regular viewers I realized it was time for another post about Autism. This one is about senior citizens who are autistic but are generally undiagnosed.  A recognized statistics is that there are over a million of us that are autistic in the Baby Boomer generation alone.

Even if those million were suddenly officially diagnosed to be autistic it is very doubtful that any but a small percentage of them would even accept that fact.  It is kind of like another area that I am familiar with and that is hearing impairment. Only about one in five seniors who have hearing difficulties seek help.  They just insist that all of a sudden everyone started mumbling.

In that same vein, too many in our boomer generation see autism in any form as being a disgraceful thing that is to be locked in the closet, and for the most severe cases that was the general rule for our generation. Sadly, that is a totally misconceived notion that I want to try to put a small dent in with this meager post.

Autism is not a dreaded disease but instead is really just a way that a significant portion of the population see and react to the world.  Their perceptions in some ways make them unique and special.

I admit that I am just beginning to learn the intricacies of the autism spectrum so I have a lot to learn.  For that reason, I can’t really address the spectrum idea with any degree of knowledge. But, what I have studied is a condition called Asperger Syndrome so I will concentrate on that anomaly for the purposes of this post.

Here is what the Autism Speaks organization says about Aspergers:

Asperger syndrome was generally considered to be on the “high functioning” end of the spectrum. Affected children and adults have difficulty with social interactions and exhibit a restricted range of interests and/or repetitive behaviors. Motor development may be delayed, leading to clumsiness or uncoordinated motor movements. Compared with those affected by other forms of ASD, however, those with Asperger syndrome do not have significant delays or difficulties in language or cognitive development. Some even demonstrate precocious vocabulary – often in a highly specialized field of interest.

The following behaviors are often associated with Asperger syndrome. However, they are seldom all present in any one individual and vary widely in degree:

• limited or inappropriate social interactions
• “robotic” or repetitive speech
• challenges with nonverbal communication (gestures, facial expression, etc.) coupled with average to above average verbal skills
• tendency to discuss self rather than others
• inability to understand social/emotional issues or nonliteral phrases
• lack of eye contact or reciprocal conversation
• obsession with specific, often unusual, topics
• one-sided conversations
• awkward movements and/or mannerisms

Many in the Baby Boomer generation readily admit that they have always had several of the traits of Aspergers. The causes of those characteristics were labeled as just being: shy, timid, introvert.  Many say that they have problems with making eye contact or trouble with conversations/small talk that others seem to readily accomplish.

Some, who are much more knowledgeable than I have put together a list of possible undiagnosed Aspies in the celebrity world today.

  • James Taylor – Age 70
  • Dan Aykroyd – Age 65
  • Vladimir Putin – age 65
  • Susan Boyle – age 57
  • Isaac Asimov – died at age 72
  • Daryl Hannah – age 55
  • Bill Gates – age 62
  • Abraham Lincoln – died at age 56
  • Robin Williams – died at age 63
  • Bob Dylan – age 76

A good portion of this list is Baby Boomers. I would be proud to be included in this influential list with them. They, because of their Aspie traits are very creative people who speak their minds.  Aspergers is not something to be ashamed of but instead just describes some fundamental characteristics of our personalities that make us different from others. If you want to see more details on why these people are either confirmed or likely Aspies click here.

Before I close this topic, I want to delve a little more into the general topic of autism.

From Autism Speaks — Autism, or autism spectrum disorder, refers to a range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication, as well as by unique strengths and differences. We now know that there is not one autism but many types, caused by different combinations of genetic and environmental influences.

The term “spectrum” reflects the wide variation in challenges and strengths possessed by each person with autism.

In the end, what does in matter if seniors deny the possibility that they are Aspies? In most cases, there is likely no harm. But it is also known that these traits become more significant as we age and lose some of our inhibitions so maybe this information in the hands of our caregivers would be valuable.

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The Hardest Years…

I suppose the title of this post has different meanings to different people.  From recent comments, it is used to describe the “post-truth” era that many seem to think we are in.  To many, the hardest years are the ones that they are currently living in.  Being a history guy I have a longer view than that.  But this is not at all what this post is about. 🙂

These are the first words from a quote from Helen Hays shown below

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I couldn’t agree more. At the tender age of ten, I had just taken up a Jack London book entitled “White Fang”. That was my first serious look at the world beyond my front door.  It opened up a world I had never imagined.  Due to circumstances, I was pretty mature for a ten-year-old.  My narcissistic mother had just abandoned me, my younger brother, and my dad for greener pastures.  I didn’t really know what was going on but imagined it was my fault. I knew my life was going to be quite different than it had been.

canstockphoto8329344.jpgBetween ten and seventy were episodes that challenged me. I struggled to pay my own way through college by working forty hours a week in addition to a near full course load. I knew my social skills were lacking but I never realized the extent until years later.  I would become deaf at the age of forty and was laid off at the age of fifty-four.  Thankfully I had saved enough money and had enough years of employment to earn a significant pension.

It was not until the age of seventy that I finally decided that my hardest years were behind me. Social status no longer meant anything if it ever did. I simply didn’t care what others thought of me. The age of seventy was indeed at the end of my hard years.

Thanks, Helen for helping me realize that fact.

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Don’t Give In To The Fear…

canstockphoto22042668.jpgFear of this or that is so prominent in our American society right now. A substantial minority on the right fringe of our political system has made fear a foundation of their lives. But the most tragic thing is that those on the rest of the political spectrum have allowed the rather thin minority’s fear to convince us that all hope is lost!

I know, 81% of white evangelicals voted for #CO3 because they fear what America is becoming. They can see that they will soon no longer have the dominant role in our country’s future and that scares the hell out of them. Many in this category are racists by nature and upbringing and just can’t fathom a country where “those other people” have the same leverage as they do.

2018-07-18_19-57-44.pngThis 81% make up less than one-in-five voters in this country and due to the rest of us not taking our responsibility to vote seriously enough, they managed to put a racist and totally unqualified narcissist temporarily in control. Instead of surrendering to the Evangelical fear we need to be gearing up to do everything necessary to take our country back. That effort starts this November and is finalized twenty-four months later.

So, the primary message of this post is that all you folks who have let the right fringes’ fear traumatize you quit the pity party and recognize how this happened. If we do that, we will look back at these times as when we let a radical fringe temporarily take command. Hopefully, this is a lesson we don’t have to learn again anytime in the future.

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#CO3 – Current Oval Office Occupant

I Don’t Want To…

I don’t want to be united with people who think Trump is a good person

2018-07-08_09-23-38.pngThe words above came from a comment to the Facebook posting that centered around the picture here.  It got me to thinking about my personal attitude about those who think Trump is a good person.  I just returned from a uRV trip to see the Madison Regatta in southern Indiana. On my route there I stopped at a small town restaurant for lunch. When I opened the door I was greeted with a large screen TV with Fox News glaring at me! To make matters worse several of the patrons were wearing the now familiar red hats with the MAGA logo. I was very tempted to just turn around and walk out but I realized this was probably the only dining option available in the area.

I’m sure by many other standards most of these folks are good people, but does that ameliorate their political and moral stands? Can I look past that to see their goodness? The short answer to that is “I don’t know?” That stand just seems to tarnish everything else.  I know fear is what drives many of them. They see “their way of life” changing and are willing to grab on to ANYTHING to prevent that from happening. Morality and Truth are two of those causalities.

This is one of those times when I kinda wished I could hear again.  I would love to have heard some of the stories at the tables around me. I could only imagine that some of those stories are about all those people who are invading their world. But then again, maybe they were just chitchatting about their daily lives.

Always Looking…

I am always looking to add new features and sections here at RJsCorner.  Trying to improve everything in my life is what makes it ultimately satisfying.  In the same light, trying to hold on to eternal optimism is a BIG challenge given so much of what is happening in the world today.

I have vowed to back away from the ugly world of American politics and I think I have been substantially successful in that endeavor. I don’t want to jettison it entirely as that would be a personal copout to me.  I considered adding a topic of “#CO3’s Lie Of Today” but quickly found I would have to spend quite a bit of time studying the daily lies to decide the one that would be posted.  Here is an example of that:

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I have come to the conclusion that almost without exception when I see something he has said I believe the opposite.  The trouble with the idea of “Lie of the day” it that he would have too much attention here.

I wisely decided to scrap this idea, even though it was enticing to actually compile the untruth that comes from this narcissist’s lips.  Enough said, let’s get back to something more optimistic for tomorrow’s post.

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#CO3 = Current Oval Office Occupant

Autism & Sensory Sensitivity

2016-07-18_17-26-54.pngIt has been a while since I put out a post about Autism concentrating primarily on Aspbergers’ Syndrome. This post will be about sensory sensitivity.  Of course, that means being sensitive to sight, touch, taste, sound, and smell and is often a symptom of Autism.

I continue to discover new traits in my life that point me to Aspbergers. This one came from a billboard that I saw several times a month while traveling back and forth from my small town to a larger one with more services and medical options.

Let’s go through the list with my stories:

Sight –  I am a late riser in the winter months and an early riser the rest of the year.  The reason for that is two-fold. One is that I have too much to do around this 3-acre homestead to spend extra cool hours in the morning in bed. 😉 The other one, more relative to this post, is that I can’t sleep in a room filled with any significant amount of light. My eyelids just don’t filter out much light it seems. I am very sensitive to bright and flashing lights. Even TV flashes cause me to wake up from a nap.

Touch – Creases in my bed sheets are a cause of my frequent sleep interruptions.  I am an Apple watch guy now, and it tells me I am an extremely restless sleeper. Another touch sensitivity is that after about six months of use, I have to replace my bath towels as they just get too scratchy.  I could add a few more to the list but I think you get the idea.

Taste & Smell – These are two biggies for me. There are things that just make me wacky in the taste and smell area. I just can’t understand how anyone can put mouthwashes like Listerine in their mouth. The taste and smell are utterly intolerable to me. But something that is even worse is the smell of mint in any form! Whenever I get even a whiff of mint I pretty quickly abandon the area.

It seems that all the oral hygiene manufacturers think that adding mint to their products is a bare necessity! For that reason, I have to special order many toiletry items so they are mint free. If I had a choice between sitting next to a cigarette or even a cigar smoker, or a gum chewer, I would without a doubt chose the smoker. Mint just drives me up a wall.

Sound is usually included in sensory sensitivity but since I am totally deaf I am at least free from that one. 🙂

I recognize that for many on the Autism spectrum these types of things cause a panic meltdown. I am thankful that for me my reaction is not quite as severe.

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The Cutting Room Floor

“You are not alone” is one of my Ten Pillars of life. The thought is that no matter what adversities you face, there is always someone who has had them before you and they can help you learn how to cope.

Asking for help is a hard thing to do for many of us. We just don’t want to admit to ourselves that we sometimes struggle through life, let alone broadcast that fact to the world! It takes a brave person to do that. One of those brave people is Michelle over at the Green Study. She recently came out with a heartwrenching post where she told the world about her problems with depression and the history of psychiatric problems in her family.

Here are some of her words in relation to the recent celebrity suicides:

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I constantly struggle with my deafness, my Aspie characteristics and sometimes depression. I thank the Lord that I am not overwhelmed by these things as many are. I feel an inordinate need to show the world that they are not alone. Someone else struggles as you do.  Just knowing that might help them pull back from the edge and seek help.

One of my hardest personal struggles was the period when I went deaf at the age of forty. I knew deafness was coming but I still was totally unprepared. When it did happen my ear doctor basically told me that he couldn’t help me anymore so just go away.  I felt abandoned! I went through months of depression until I finally discovered the organization called ALDA (Assoc. of Late Deafened Adults).  They helped me realize I was not alone.

Thanks, Michelle for letting others know that they are not alone with their problems…

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Rising US suicide rates…

2018-06-11_09-47-48It is sad to see that suicide is on the rise in the US. A couple of prominent people have brought it to the forefront. As noted below a part of the problem is the lack of proper healthcare here in America. It is hard to believe that over 45,000 people committed suicide last year alone.  The stigma of mental illness causes too many to not seek help when they are severely depressed and that is the major cause of it.

I go through some pretty significant periods of depression myself but never to the point of thinking life is useless or needs to end.  If I ever do get to that point I pray I have the strength to get some help.

John Mann, a psychiatrist who studies the causes of depression and suicide at Columbia University, said several factors have likely contributed to America’s rising suicide rate, including stress from the 2008 financial crisis and the current opioid epidemic. But they don’t tell the whole story.

“We have a serious, national problem in terms of adequate recognition of psychiatric illnesses and their treatment. That is the single most effective suicide-prevention method in Western nations. We’re missing most of these cases. That’s really the bottom line.”

The larger majority of suicide victims who have a psychiatric illness — nearly 3 in 4 Americans— are not receiving treatment at the time of their deaths.

via Rising US suicide rates could be connected to mental healthcare costs – Business Insider

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As far as I know, depression is pretty much a chemical imbalance in the brain and is, for the most part, a treatable condition. It is interesting to see that the most significant rate increases are in the middle, more rural part of the country. I wonder why that is? Maybe it is a signal just how depressed and fearful Trumpters are about their way of life? It is also interesting to see that California, Arizona, and New Mexico are among the lowest. Maybe it is the water 🙂

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The Top Ten…

No, I’m not going to have a countdown of my top ten list but I did just establish a new set of categories entitled “My 10 Pillars” in the header menu here at RJsCorner to reflect the new direction I recently took for this blog. They are not in rank order as each is just as important to me as the other.

In the past, many of my posts were political in nature but since that venue is now totally in the gutter I have for the most part chosen a new track. I know this is not the first time I have mentioned my 10 Pillars and it does now have its permanent place in my “About” menu but I now want to celebrate its official kickoff via this post.

Here are My 10 Pillars:

  1. canstockphoto1528334.jpgThink for Yourself, Question Everything.
  2. You are not alone.
  3. Adversity builds character.
  4. Embrace Change.
  5. Break down myths that put people in suffocating boxes.
  6. Never Stop Learning or Growing
  7. Live & Let Live.
  8. Be humble, be honest, be committed.
  9. Don’t lose yourself in your fear or anger as it will destroy you.
  10. Treat everyone with respect, even those who don’t treat you likewise.

These ten items are the foundations of who I currently am and how I try to live my life day-to-day.

Starting now, I will include these categories in my daily post info. If I have the time, primarily in the winter months I will be cataloging my archive posts with these new categories so that you can more easily find them in the future.

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