Does education pay?

HSTeacher_rank
HSTeacher_graphi
Is a teacher’s salary reflective on how well its society shows respect towards education?
How does your country value education?

Data sources from http://www.payscale.com

 

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Depression – The Black Dog, The Monster, Rumpelstiltskin, Acedia

A. Practical Suggestions to Combat Depression
B. Aced
ia
C. Advice that is NOT helpful when you ARE DEPRESSED
D. Life Style Change Suggestions



A. Practical Suggestions to Combat Depression

1. Accept that you suffer from Depression
2. Read about Depression
3. Talk to Someone You Trust
4. Write a Journal Daily
5. Notice The Little Things
6. Remove Media from the Bedroom
7. Watch or read something light that makes you smile or laugh or distracts you from depression

1. Accept that you suffer from Depression
Don’t be embarrassed by it. Depression is a mental disorder caused by the false belief of negative thoughts brought on by changes or events in your life. The mind is lying to the person. Depression causes low self esteem and low self worth. It takes away one’s self confidence and leaves a shell of negativity. Accept that you have depression. Accepting means naming depression. Naming it allows you to tackle the issue. It takes away some of the power of depression when you name it. Think of Rumpelstiltskin. Why Rumpelstiltskin? He lost his power when his name was spoken. Sometimes we don’t know we have depression, we know we don’t feel right but we cannot name it. It’s an uneasiness, anxiety or an unsettled feeling.

2. Read about Depression
Arm yourself with knowledge so that you can combat depression. Learn to recognise when depression is approaching. Learn to disarm the negative thoughts before they become overwhelming.

3. Talk to Someone You Trust
Speak to your spouse or a close friend or visit a doctor and get help. Talking about it can be truly beneficial with the right person. Find someone with whom you feel comfortable talking. With minor depression sometimes just talking about depression maybe enough to deal with depression. (Depression whether it be minor or major never feels minor in the middle of depression.) You may need to take medication for a while to help you cope. Perhaps the first medication you try may not be the right one for you. Keep trying until you get what works for you. Change your doctor if you don’t feel that they are listening to you.

4. Write a Journal Daily
Write whatever you feel like writing. It could be a daily diary or it could be about your feelings, your moods or it could be a short story. It could be poetry or lists. Don’t mull over the writings just write what you feel and run with it. Don’t worry about spelling or grammar, just get the thoughts out of your head and onto paper. Some days there maybe nothing but negative thoughts but on other days you may write down things you are grateful for. Recognising how you feel as you observe yourself allows you to witness what brings on depression or negative thoughts. We can learn to counter these or learn to remove ourselves from negative inducing areas of our lives. You may decide to never read them again, you may decide to burn them at a later date, whatever you do, just write in the now and forget the future. Write yourself out of depression.

5. Notice The Little Things
Make time to enjoy simple things that appeal to you
Example 1: CLOUDS: Look at the clouds in the sky and watch how they move across the sky, notice the speed, the shapes, the colours, think of nothing else
Example 2: A Drink/A cup of Coffee or Tea: Chose a cup/mug/glass that you like, or make a pot of tea, enjoy the choosing of the cup, select the beverage, take notice of the smell and colour, the sound of the coffee machine or the jug boiling. Enjoy the process and the drinking. Think only of the drink. Make yourself comfortable sitting down to drink it and enjoy the moment. Think of nothing else but the coffee or tea or whatever you choose to drink.
(If you don’t drink caffeinated beverages then how about a glass of water with a slice of lemon or lime, or a slice of watermelon. Get a nice straw. Whatever makes you feel good in the moment.)

6. Remove Media from the Bedroom
By this I mean, remove television, iPads, computers, smart phones, computer games, video games from the bedroom. Allow the bedroom to be what it was designed for. Remove the mental stimulation. Have a book beside the bed to help you wind down before sleeping.

7. Watch or read something light that makes you smile or laugh or distracts you from depression
A film that you like, cute cat videos, video games, light holiday reading books, photos. Try to avoid watching the news.



B.  Acedia
(AH-KAY-DEA)
Did you know that Acedia was classed as one of the cardinal sins. There were in fact eight deadly sins. Over time the word Acedia has disappeared from the sins and seven remain. Acedia, what is it? Described as being sloth like, not caring or being concerned with the world, being unable to function. Sounds like depression to me. Perhaps it was removed from the cardinal sins because it became so prevalent? Monks used to worry about acedia when they became distracted from their prayers, not being able to perform ones duties. Read Acedia & Me: A Marriage, Monks and A Writer’s Life by Kathleen Norris for further study.


C.  Advice that is NOT helpful when you ARE DEPRESSED

a. Smile, Be Happy
We just want these happy non-depressed people to go away. If we could be happy we would be. Depression is an illness. It is like telling a paraplegic to will themselves to walk. It may be mind over matter for depression but it is a mental illness and the mind is telling us we are hopeless and useless. The mind is lying to us and filling us with thoughts that are not real, and making us believe them. We don’t chose to be depressed. It happens and it takes us prisoner. We want to escape imprisonment. We want to enter the door marked happy but we cannot find the door.

b. Exercise
When you can only get out of bed to get to the lavatory, exercise is a joke. Don’t attempt this. For those that suffer from depression, and it affects us all differently, we know that exercise is good for us, we have depression we aren’t stupid. We just cannot manage exercise. We will try to go for a walk, get outside, open a window. On a bad day this is all the exercise you will get from us.

c. Asking “Why are you depressed?
If we knew why we were depressed we might not be in that situation. Most often we have no idea why we are depressed and asking that only irritates the person who is depressed. It adds to the mountain, of yet another thing that we aren’t able to do.

I think you get the idea. Some people mean well but it really isn’t helpful when someone says, “Cheer Up!” It is not welcome.


D.  Life Style Change Suggestions
We seem to get depression when we are going through a life change or a life event. If you feel down for a few days then you aren’t depressed, you are just feeling down. It will go away, it’s natural. But when this feeling of being down and sad lasts for weeks or longer then it gets named as depression. Grief is perhaps different. But I don’t know enough about that to discuss grief here.  Maybe depression is a hint that we need to change our lifestyle, or environment, our job, our social influences, our food, our direction. Sometimes it maybe that we are unable to cope for no apparent reason. It maybe triggered by negative events on television. Sometimes we just don’t know why depression is triggered. It may also just be a chemical imbalance and be corrected with medication. Everyone is different and so what triggers depression for one may not affect another. Likewise with coping mechanisms, what works for one person may have no effect on another. We need to try and see what works for ourselves.

Below are suggestions to improve your lifestyle when you are in the right frame of mind. Dealing with depression takes time and so does making changes to our lifestyle. I do not believe in quick fixes. They end up causing more damage in the long run. So I say again if you aren’t in the right frame of mind read below at another time. Go do some light reading, watch a film you like, be kind to yourself, have a hot shower or a hot bath. Leave this talk of change to a day when you can deal with it better.

Here are some ideas to help make your lifestyle more you. Take what is relevant and discard the rest. I challenge you to make ONE change this week.

1. Routine
2. Food

3. Exercise
4. Sleep
5. De-Stress
6. Learning
7. Social

Routine
If you don’t have one already, create a routine for yourself, your household that you feel comfortable with. Create order in your life. Now don’t go start filling your planner to overload. Start small and add one item that you do daily and build on it each week. Adding one item weekly. Reward yourself when you complete your task. It can be a simply saying to yourself: Well Done! Or it can be a treat of your choosing. The purpose of a routine is that when it becomes a habit and almost automatic. So that when you perhaps aren’t your usual self you will be able to carryout these routines without thinking. Don’t be hard on yourself if you forget to do something. Say “Silly me. Never mind!” and try again tomorrow.

Are you still wondering what I mean by a routine? Well let’s start with bedtime, do you go to bed at the same time each night? Do you have enough hours of sleep? Set a time to get ready for bed and aim to be in bed half an hour later. Go check that the doors and windows are locked, brush your teeth and get your clothes ready for tomorrow, set the dishwasher on. Hang on a minute here you maybe saying I don’t do those things. Well that’s alright then. Get ready for bed any which way is comfortable for you. Setting a routine or structure gives your body and mind a rest.
What would you add to your routine this week?

Food/Nutrition
Look at what you eat and see how you could make a small change for the better. Do you have a balanced diet? Do you eat enough vegetables? Enough fruit? Do you eat out every night of the week? Do you cook food from scratch? Do you drink too much alcohol? Do you drink too much carbonated drinks? Don’t try and change your food habits all at once. Change one thing and add or subtract it from your weekly routine. Continue changing your food/drink until you have a diet that is best for you. (Diet here means nutrition, not briefly starving yourself)

Example:
1.  If you eat takeaways/takeout five times a week try making it four times a week and cook at home instead the rest of the time.
2. If you don’t feel that you aren’t eating enough vegetables, add one to your meal.
3.  If you don’t seem to have enough time to cook every night, cook extra portions and freeze them so you can use them on days when you don’t have enough time.
4.  Start a meal planner and write suggestions or get the rest of your family to write suggestions.
5.  If you drink six cans of carbonated drinks a week, reduce it down to five cans a week.
6.  If you drink alcohol every night of the week. Have one night off a week.
What small change would you do this week?

Exercise
Look at the video here and tell me if that doesn’t motivate you to move your body a little more. 20-30 minutes a day.
If you really detest exercise or you really cannot remember how try these suggestions:
1. Park your car at the supermarket far from the door.
2. Get off the lift/elevator at the floor below and walk one flight of stairs
3. Take the stairs when you are given an option
4. Get off the bus or subway on stop before your regular stop and walk to work/the shops the rest of the way (if realistic to your situation)
5. If you drive to work, then park your car further away from the entrance
6. Wear a pedometer and count how many steps you walk and gradually increase them
What change would you make this week?

Sleep
Are you getting enough sleep? Are you being kind to yourself and starting to go to bed early enough? Do you have too many distractions in the bedroom? Remove the clutter and the electronic media. Use the bedroom for what it was designed. Eight is the magic number for the optimal number of hours to sleep. Some people may need longer some on less. For some of us it may be impossible to get the correct number of hours because of a newborn, job or illness, in that case what about napping at other times?
Do you get enough sleep? Too much sleep?
What time are you going to bed tonight?

De-Stress
Do you get outside enough? Take time to yourself and be in nature. Go for a walk. Listen to the birds. Feel the wind on your face. Step out from your space and commune with nature. Even if you are in a big city you can still look up at the sky and see the clouds. Stop off at a market and smell the produce. Play the guitar? Have a hot bath? Watch a movie? Play computer games? Cook a meal from scratch? Play sport? Learn dance? Go to a language class,….
Investigate relaxation techniques to help you cope, breathing exercises, relaxation meditations that you can incorporate into your daily or weekly routines.
What would you do to relax?

Learning
Learning about Depression and trying the best way that fits you. Read as much as you can about it. Knowledge is power and the best way to deal with any obstacle. Read up about nutrition and exercise and find the best way for you to relax. This maybe through sport or music or art. Find something to bring back the giggle in you. What do you enjoy doing? Make time for it again. Read up on your new interest and involve yourself. Enjoy!
What would you chose to learn?

Social
Do you interact enough with others? Are you participating enough with others? Are you too isolated? Can you improve your situation? Can you meet up with like-minded people? In person? Online? Viber? Skyping? Are you in the right relationship? Are you contributing enough? Do you show you care enough? Do you make enough effort? Do you feel the need to join a group to interact more with others? Do you engage in conversation when you buy something at a shop? Do you smile when making small talk? Do you fake it until you feel something? Are you being true to yourself?
What small change would you do to improve your social connection with others?


MUSIC
Smashing Pumpkins, Tonight, Tonight

MMR Vaccine, Thimerosal and Autism

Updated again 8 September 2014:

“This Autism General Order #1 is being issued by the Office of Special Masters (“OSM”), to address an unusual situation facing the National Vaccine Injury
Compensation Program (“Program.”) …..autism, or neurodevelopmental disorders similar to autism, may be caused by Measles-Mumps-Rubella (“MMR”) vaccinations; by the “thimerosal” ingredient contained in certain Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis (“DTP”), Diphtheria-Tetanus-acellar Pertussis (“DTaP”), Hepatitis B, and Hemophilus Influenza Type B (“HIB”) vaccinations; or by some combination of the two.

here in full at Autism General Order from Various Petitioners vs Health and Human Services, July 3, 2002.

I have added bold type to show how the MMR and thimerosal  may cause autism.  “over 400 cases alleging a causal relationship between such vaccinations and autism disorders have been filed in this court; more than 300 of those cases have been filed in the past six months.” This was dated in July 2002. By May 2009 ” approximately 5,000 autism claims that have been filed under the Vaccine Act

An article in journal Pediatrics  “sheds further light on the relationship between autism and gastrointestinal problems” with the MMR vaccine. The MMR vaccine and weakens the immune system so when other vaccines containing thimerosal are given there

see in the Appeals Court Cedillo vs Health and Human Services (HHS), here, Hazelhurst vs HHS here

For more on Vaccine Court and Autism


Updated August 2014: According to the FDA Thimerosal was never used in MMR vaccines. If so then why is there all the mention of Thimerosal?
http://www.fda.gov/BiologicsBloodVaccines/SafetyAvailability/VaccineSafety/UCM096228

Is the 2004 CDC case-control study published in Pediatrics the whole story about the relationship between MMR and Autism? There is no thimerosal in the MMR vaccine if I am reading online correctly. It must be something else. I have more questions though: in early childhood children get a variety of vaccinations, why has the MMR vaccination been isolated as the cause of the Autism? What is in the vaccine that is the cause of the link with Autism? Has it been removed already? When was it first noted? Have you read the study in Pediatrics?  I seem to have more questions than answers.

“A February 2004 case-control studyExternal Web Site Icon examined the possible relationship between exposure to the MMR vaccine and autism in Atlanta, Georgia. The results were published in Pediatrics.
http://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/vaccines/mmr/mmr.html

Pay US$12 and read the 2004 case-control study results clicking the link below:
http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/113/2/259.full.html

“The MMR vaccine does not contain any preservatives or adjuvant.
Preservatives and adjuvant (most commonly aluminum) cannot be
used in vaccines containing live viruses because these chemicals
would inactivate the vaccine and render it useless. The MMR vaccine
never contained any thimerosal preservative.”

from Components of the MMR Vaccine by Leslie Young, M.D.
http://www.netplaces.com/vaccines/the-mmr-vaccine/components-of-the-mmr-vaccine.htm

“Why was thimerosal removed from vaccines given to children?
Although no evidence suggests that there are safety concerns with thimerosal, vaccine manufacturers have stopped using it as a precautionary measure.The only vaccine that still includes thimerosal as a preservative is the multi-dose inactivated influenza vaccine. There are other formulations of flu vaccine that do not include thimerosal.
In 1999, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was required by law to assess the amount of mercury in all the products the agency oversees, not just vaccines. The U.S. Public Health Service decided that as much mercury as possible should be removed from vaccines, and thimerosal was the only source of mercury in vaccines.
The decision to remove it was a made as a precautionary measure to decrease overall exposure to mercury among young infants.
Thimerosal was removed from all childhood vaccines in 2001 with the exception of inactivated flu vaccine in multi-dose vials. However, thimerosal has been removed from all single-dose preparations of flu vaccine for children and adults. There has never been thimerosal in live attenuated flu vaccine or recombinant flu vaccine. No acceptable alternative preservative has yet been identified for multi-dose flu vaccine vials.”
from CDC
http://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/concerns/thimerosal/thimerosal_faqs.html#c


 

This is not breaking news but I was reading a recent post here on John Rappoport’s blog so I decided to research for myself and I found a Forbes article dated March 2014 here then I stumbled upon news here at Age of Autism about the link between mercury in vaccines and autism.

Research articles about The Science on Autism, Mitocondria and Mercury found here at SafeMinds.org
SafeMinds was founded to raise awareness, support research, change policy and focus national attention on the growing evidence of a link between mercury and neurological disorders.

“We believe that autism is the defining disorder of our age, man-made and therefore preventable, and that it points to the truth about other problems that beset us, from ADD to asthma to Alzheimer’s. We address those issues as well, along with exposing the special interests, bureaucratic inertia, and medical malfeasance that perpetuate denial and suffering.”
from letter from the editor at Age of Autism
http://www.ageofautism.com/a-welcome-from-dan-olmste.html

age_of_autism
The Age of Autism: Mercury, Medicine and the Man-Made Epidemic by Dan Olmsted and Mark Blaxill, published 2011
*I haven’t read the book. I include this to add evidence that this topic is not new.

Thimerosal/Thiomerosal and Vaccines

It would appear that thimerosal/thiomerosal is NOT used in MMR vaccines worldwide but it is possible to be present in multi-dose vaccines such as the flu/influenza vaccine.

USA
“Thimerosal is a mercury-containing preservative used in some vaccines and other products since the 1930’s. There is no convincing evidence of harm caused by the low doses of thimerosal in vaccines, except for minor reactions like redness and swelling at the injection site. However, in July 1999, the Public Health Service agencies, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and vaccine manufacturers agreed that thimerosal should be reduced or eliminated in vaccines as a precautionary measure. ”
from CDC
http://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/Concerns/Thimerosal/Index.html

“Since 2001, all routinely recommended vaccines (except for the flu vaccine) for administration to young children in the U.S. contain no thimerosal or only trace amounts.
Vaccines with trace amounts of thimerosal are labeled “preservative-free.
Vaccines that do not contain any thimerosal are labeled “thimerosal-free.
from Minnesota Department of Health
http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/idepc/immunize/hcp/thimerosalfs.html

Canada
“Is thimerosal in all vaccines?
No. Most vaccines licensed in Canada do not contain thimerosal.
The influenza vaccine and most hepatitis B vaccines are multi-dose vaccines, which contain thimerosal as a preservative.
For immunization of infants against hepatitis B, parents or guardians in some provinces and territories have the choice of a thimerosal-free vaccine.”
from Public Health Agency of Canada
http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/im/q_a_thimerosal-eng.php

Australia
“In Australia, thiomersal has been removed from all routine childhood vaccines since 2000. The exception is one type of hepatitis B vaccine which contains a greatly reduced amount of thiomersal.”
from National Centre for Immunisation Research & Surveillance
http://www.ncirs.edu.au/immunisation/fact-sheets/thiomersal-fact-sheet.pdf

New Zealand
“Does the MMR vaccine contain thiomersal (or mercury)?
Answer: No. National Immunisation Schedule vaccines used in New Zealand, including MMR, do not contain thiomersal (also known as thimerosal).
Last updated: 20-03-2012”
from Immunisation Advisory Centre, the University of Auckland
http://www.immune.org.nz/category/tags/thimerosal

United Kingdom
Does the MMR jab contain thiomersal?
No, the MMR vaccine has never contained thiomersal – a preservative containing mercury that is used in some vaccines.
from National Health Service
http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/vaccinations/Pages/mmr-questions-answers.aspx#thiomersal

European Union
“The Committee for Proprietary Medicinal Products (CPMP) previously advised that although there was no evidence of harm from thiomersal in vaccines other than hypersensitivity (allergic) reactions, it would be prudent to promote the general use of vaccines without thiomersal and other mercury containing preservatives, particularly for single dose vaccines. Since then, several vaccines licensed in the European Union have had thiomersal removed or levels reduced and new vaccines without thiomersal have been licensed. CPMP advice was in line with the global goal of reducing environmental exposure to mercury. The previous assessment of risks associated with ethylmercury had been based on data on methylmercury, as the toxicity profile of the two compounds was assumed to be similar.”
from EMEA, The European Agency for the Evaluation of Medicinal Products
http://www.ema.europa.eu/docs/en_GB/document_library/Scientific_guideline/2009/09/WC500003904.pdf

Pascal in the sky with me

barometer

Barometer © lionsapp.com

I love the rain. I like the sound of the rain on the roof when I’m lying in bed. I feel at peace with the rain. I don’t mind getting caught in a rain shower in the summer. One of my favourite memories of rain is of sitting around the table among the tress in the backyard while it’s raining and we’re drinking cava in the peak of summer. I didn’t care that I was getting wet. It was so humid and so unbearable before that so when it finally rained it was bliss.

I love the rain as I have said but I hate wind. Some people associate rain with depression and sadness but I don’t. I never really thought about the reasons why I felt so strongly about the wind and the rain.

I grew up in an area where the Foehn winds were common in the warmer months of the year. These winds affect people, it makes them restless and irritable. In schools the children become unmanageable and new curriculum plans get shelved for another day instead easier topics are chosen to gain better attention of the restless classes. For us the foehn winds were northwest winds and although the sky looked beautiful with the clouds rolled back to form an archway across the entire sky it meant the weather would be hot and dry for a spell. The results for me were great, long summer evenings but the route to get there was never pleasant. Trees overturned. Power outages. Fire warnings. It felt like a typhoon when the winds came roaring into town. The farmers were not happy either as there were no rain for the crops. Mother Nature is never fair in dealing out her weather.

I thought back to the days of the Foehn and realised that the weather deeply affected me back then. Call me sensitive but my ears are ringing as I write this. My tinnitus is really loud at the moment and I can’t stand to be around other noise that is high pitched. It’s distracting me away from what I want to write.

“When atmospheric pressure is measured by a barometer, the pressure is also referred to as the barometric pressure.”*
*wikipedia

I wondered if barometric pressure had any affect on me. I have wondered this for a long time. I download the app, Barometer to monitor how I feel in relation to the barometric pressure. I feel better on days when the barometer doesn’t move or has minimal movement. More research required. Search online for Aspergers and barometric pressure and there are hundreds of thousands of results. I am not the only one to notice a change in myself depending on the weather.

This throws up more questions than answers for me. Does the air pressure affect the inner ear, the brain or the mind or all three? Do we imagine that we have a closer connection with nature when in fact we don’t? Do we feel settled when the barometer is stable? Does the feeling of unease occur when the air pressure is higher or lower? If the air pressure changes while we are asleep does this still affect us? Or not at all? Do we just feel susceptible to air pressure when we have a cold or are run down, or have a weak immune system? Is that really what it comes down to? Some people feel it in their bones after a bone breakage, or some feel it with arthritis. What is it exactly that we feel? No idea really. Do we just imagine it? Is it real? You tell me.

Suggestion: Screen capture on your phone the barometric pressure morning, noon and night or when you feel your mood change. Note your mood. Smiley face, neutral face, sad face to note your mood if that makes it easier. Once a day is perhaps not enough but I suppose it depends where you live, in relationship to the poles, equator, island or continent. or the time of year.
Write down your findings in your journal or diary.
Example: August 17, Sunday 10am 1022 😐 , 2pm 1018 😐 , 8pm 1008 😦

Note: iPhone 6 will possibly have an inbuilt barometer to accurately give weather information!

Who is Pascal? Find out more here.
What is hpa? Find out more here.

MUSIC
Becky Hill – Caution to the Wind

Look away, look away NOW!

crowd
Good eye contact doesn’t come naturally to me.
I look at a person and I am constantly directing myself  to look.

And action:
Yes, that’s right keep looking,
Blink,
Now stop, that’s too much.
Look away, look away now.
Phew.
Look over their shoulder.
That’s right.
Now you can look back at them.
What nice eyes they have, they have little flecks of brown in the green.
You’re staring again.
Blink.
Look away now.
And down at the clothing.
Not too low.
And look back at their eyes again.

I can stare at my husband and it’s okay. I don’t find myself directing my eye contact with loved ones. With immediate family. I don’t have to think.
With people I know well I still have to direct myself. With strangers more so. Why doesn’t it come naturally? I have been around long enough. I have watched enough people and how they interact with each other.

How long should you actually look at someone before looking away? If looking at someone shows interest in what they are saying and shows your own confidence then what impression do we give if we don’t follow the normal social behaviour? If we make eye contact with a person of the opposite sex does that automatically mean we are interested? I hope not. Because I like to look at everything. Sometimes I am so busy looking that my hearing shuts down. I then have to ask the person to repeat what they said. I cannot talk and drive well. I used to try and do eye contact while I drove but that freaked out my husband. Naturally. I have learned not to do that. I only look front now even if I talk. I know that driving takes priority over talking.

When does a look become a stare?
If we look for too long, forming a stare, does that present itself as a challenge, such as to authority or hierarchy?
If we barely look someone in the eye does that mean respect or shame in trying to hide something?

Max was describing  in a post here how he was approached by security guards at a station and questioned because of his unnatural body movements. He has Aspergers. Reading this triggered my memory of the bus stop incident. I have only begun to understand Aspergers but it all clicks into place for me that I find it to be such a relief and wonderful that I understand so many people and I can relate to their experiences.

This happened many years ago but I remember most of it as it were yesterday. I was waiting at a bus stop in the centre of town on a Friday night. I was going home.  I had already said goodbye to my friend and I was by myself. I used to wear a large navy army coat. It kept me warm and I thought it looked trendy at the time. Anyway my bus arrived and I went to get on. The driver said you’re not getting on. I looked at him in shock. Speechless. I might have said pardon. I can’t remember exactly what I said. I was the most polite child. Behaved well in public. I looked innocent. I didn’t look the rebel type or dye my hair. I was stunned by this rejection. I recovered myself and asked him why not. He said because I was sniffing glue. At first I was insulted. What me? That would have been the last thing on my mind to do. I had a large coat on that was all. I showed him the inside of my coat but he didn’t believe me. He thought I was hiding a glue bag. Again insulting. He read me so wrong. My memory and I were so disturbed by this incident that I don’t remember if I had to wait for the next bus or the driver reluctantly let me on.

I realise now that my poor eye contact must have alerted the driver that I was trying to hide something in my coat. My body movements may have been stiff or rigid or unnatural.  Again stacking the deck against me. I may have been feeling the lining of the coat with my face. It was fluffy and soft. He must have looked at me and summed up that I was trouble and that my actions appeared like someone he had to deal with at an earlier time. He didn’t want trouble. At the time I had no idea that I had Aspergers. Understanding this incident helps me now. Even if I knew then that I had Aspergers and tried to explain to the driver he wouldn’t have believed me because there was no knowledge of the topic of Autism to the genneral public. The film Rain Man hadn’t been released yet. And for a girl to have Aspergers. Well. This incident no longer bothers me.

In reality the issue may have been with the driver and seeing me could have triggered a memory of a violent situation on the job with a youth from an earlier time. Perhaps he panicked and decided to reduce the chance of being accosted. I don’t blame him. A lot of the time we see things only from our own perspective and of course other people view life differently regardless if they are on the spectrum or not. That’s human nature.

MUSIC
Ane Brun – Do You Remember

Give me time to think

quiet
Quiet – The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking
By Susan Cain

What a timely book this was to read. I am reading about Aspergers and stumbled upon this book from someone’s suggestion. Aspergers and Introversion seem to go hand in hand. I would say that most of the Aspergers spectrum are introverts but perhaps not necessarily the other way around.  I kept agreeing with what she said with her research into various aspects of what introversion was and how introverts cope in a world that is designed for extroverts.

Realising that I am indeed an introvert, embracing the notion is quite freeing. I recognise that how I lived the first part of my life was as an introvert acting as an extrovert, surrounding myself with extroverts and wondering why everything wasn’t gelling the way I wanted it. A third or more or the population are introverts, more depending on the culture. It’s a sweeping statement I know but I would say that Western cultures embrace the extrovert culture whereas Asian cultures embrace the introvert culture. It makes me understand why I feel so much more comfortable in Asian society. Being quiet shows respect, waiting for an answer, allowing space between words is again respect. That is not to say that there are no extroverts in Asia. Of course not.

Introverts need extroverts and extroverts need introverts. Together the implementation of ideas can reach quicker and further than if just one. We are in an extrovert world. Sometimes the introvert never gets heard. Not because the idea is poor but because the extrovert doesn’t give the introvert the space in time to speak or sees hesitation as a sign of weakness on the idea rather than a reluctance to take the centre stage at a business meeting. Extroverts need hand breaks sometimes, they need an introvert to caution that they are running off in the wrong direction. Enthusiasm alone doesn’t always make for the best plan.

School teaching styles are star shaped cookie cutter designed. We are taught to teach extrovert style and the intended classroom child is extrovert. Students are encouraged to participate, to be vocal and share opinions in front of the whole class. School reports are written with verbal activity in mind and a child that is quiet is regarded as abnormal in society. Schools are preparing children for the workforce and so a gregarious child is going to fit the extrovert mold and better perform in group work, speaking in meetings and interviews. Nowhere does the introvert child feel welcome. Quiet time is when ideas form. Alone time is when ideas get developed. You cannot hatch a plan if you are constantly talking. It may be a plan but perhaps not as good as if you sat by yourself and pondered further. Giving introvert children a voice in the classroom is vital to give them opportunity to contribute and hear what they have to offer.

I could not bear to work in an office where you have to face a colleague’s desk. The productivity of an introvert would be greatly improved by just a privacy panel. It is all very well to give the appearance of an open office but there are plenty of places for casual encounters that can be set up instead. The open plan home is also a modern concept with the extrovert in mind. The introvert has nowhere to curl up and read a book. Modern does not always mean better.

Extrovert systems are in place naturally in Western society that when they are pointed out I see few places for the comfort of the introvert. When you consider that a third of the population are introvert and introverts marry extroverts more thought it needed to encourage introvert to share their ideas and to be heard. The world is heavily skewed to the extrovert. Introverts need to change this. Without the introverts leading the way, no matter how uncomfortable that may make them feel in the spotlight, unless introverts make noise the extroverts will never hear.

Being true to oneself, to one’s real nature makes living life much more comfortable and makes one aware that the effort to understand oneself is absolutely worth the journey.

Famous Introverts
Frederic Chopin
Charles Darwin
Sir Issac Newton
Albert Einstein
Rosa Parks
Eleanor Roosevelt
Mahatma Gandhi
Warren Buffett
Bill Gates
Steve Wozniak
J K Rowling
Marissa Mayer

Tips to better care for introverts and extroverts.

MUSIC
Quiet – Non Tiq