As a humanist, I value the diversity of our species. The science of our age has demonstrated the wonder of genetic randomness and accident, along with the glory of its implications. Our varied traits–their potential imparted by inheritance and expression inflected by circumstance–have graced us as the human race with opulent potential and terrifying power.
In the past few centuries, we have contrived for ourselves the protocols for observation and experimentation. We have learned much of our own origins, which come in turn from those of our planet and our universe. We have also turned our inquiry inward into who and what we are. We are only beginning as a global society to unlearn scientifically the biases that we project onto ourselves by gender, race, sexual orientation, and neurological profile.
This month, we have the opportunity to learn about neurodivergence, particularly as it relates to the autism spectrum. Research and speculation is bringing about remarkable insights and possibilities about what has made the human race as vibrant, insightful, and advanced as it is. Some of our best thinkers and creators throughout the ages have exhibited tendencies that correlate with autism as we scientifically understand it today.
While our humanity should impel us all through the year to marvel at the grandeur we see in everyone around us, we take particular times of the year to learn about and to celebrate particular characteristics that make us more than the sum of our parts.
April is Autism Awareness Month. As we collectively continue to understand autism as a spectrum, we will grow in our compassion for those severely disabled by autism, as well as for their families and loved ones. We will also learn to understand and accommodate moderately autistic people, whose characteristics may set them apart from the norm. And, regarding autistic people across the spectrum, those of us who take an interest will learn the contributions made to our human community that come courtesy of those who perceive the world in unique ways and who think differently from the norm.
As human beings, we gain the entire world from our embrace of each other.
Photo credit: Tara Winstead of Pexels
I am participating in Slice of Life Tuesdays, sponsored by Two Writing Teachers.