Its hard to say how I developed the interests I have, but much of what I do is try to find useful information that can help others with a problem. The larger the problem, the more attention I give to the topic. 3 things I try to understand, plus a few connected issues related to those 3, are Government, Food, and Autism. Lets consider each of these categories.
Most people try to avoid talking about government, unfortunately without a good discussion with someone they trust, most people try to make a decision based on what the media tells them. Depending on which media provider they choose, most media outlets are very biased, and if the person doesn’t recognize the media bias, they will be very disappointed with the result. Unless they remain active by contacting their representative, they eventually become disillusioned and feel that voting won’t change anything. But if the person chooses their battles wisely, and believes in their position passionately, no one should give up fighting for what they believe in.
With that in mind, the single most important thing you can do is educate yourself, and find other people who believe in the same thing. If you can’t find a group, then you should create one. Meetup will help you create that group, and probably has tools and information that will help expand how many people attend. Its OK to start out of a home, but if it grows quickly, you will need to decide where the larger group will meet in the future. You should prepare for this growth! If it stays small, fine. But always prepare for the future, because you never know what will happen!
You should also learn how groups go through different growth phases, and how advocacy, and the people involved in that growth, also goes through phases. Doing Democracy is a good book to read, and will teach you how to recognize key players, how those players change as the issue gains momentum, and becomes more well known by the public. If your group is well balanced, and has a nice mix of the 5 key players, your group will do well. Your group will also take on a life of its own. Don’t lament that your group has changed, embrace that change! History has a way of repeating itself, and even if your issue never changes, the challenges your group faces will typically come around again about a generation later. Rest assured, a new generation of people will grow up in 20 years, and your group will still be around if the issue is still relevant. It is also possible that the issue has morphed and is affecting a different group of people. Again, the issue is still relevant, but the people and the group affected have changed.
As proof of this, consider that women could not vote in 1904. Black men had the right to vote before women did! Women now are focused on issues of equality: wages, corporate representation, and women in government.
This is such a basic human need, one should wonder why there is hunger even in the USA. WHY? Distribution is definitely part of the problem, but there are many other related factors that affect food. The quality of food is affected, not just by GMO, but by global warming, and standard farming practices that focus on quantity instead of quality. Government tariffs and subsidies cause further imbalances in distribution and production. For those involved in this industry, money buys access to government, which tilts the playing field against small farms. Also important, Monsanto GMO crops are infecting small farms, some 10 miles away! When Monsanto sues the small farm in court, how are they supposed to fight in court when the small farm can’t afford it?! Another topic is the right to know what is in our food, which Monsanto and other large companies are fighting tooth and nail to prevent. As you can see, a multitude of issues is affecting food: Government, GMO, global warming, and transportation.
This is serious! This one issue, food, is by far the single most important issue facing us today. And because of the related topics, has a cascading effect on many other areas of our lives. Rural counties are fighting frac sand mining, which has a terrible impact on water quality, and affects the quality of food. What happens to our health when we ingest toxic chemicals because our water is tainted? What happens when the percent of farmable land goes down because of global warming? Both of these questions need to be addressed as soon as possible!
Now that we have the attention of the public, and how much we are affected, what should we do with this attention? Clearly the public is focused on proper diagnosis in young children, and educating schools on what are the best practices when dealing with children in primary schools. But what happens when these children transition into adulthood? Does the adult have the skills necessary to lead an independent life? In most cases no. They still need ongoing support, especially in available health services, employment, and making sure they have a stable home environment. Again, a number of related issues comes into play. How to advocate for oneself, how to maintain good health practices, how to get and keep a good paying job, how much we are affected by unemployment, and how many skills are necessary in order to maintain a home, even when one is renting.
Transitioning into adulthood is not easy! Often we don’t know where to start, and because we tend to be socially isolated, we often don’t communicate very well. Our pool of social engagement is very small or non-existent. Sometimes it takes us much longer to learn new things. Happily the Internet, Google, and Youtube can sometimes fill in the gaps. But sometimes we don’t even know when we have a problem, that is until someone not on the Spectrum mentions it to us! This is where Ausome Adults comes in! We have a broad foundation of people that are here to help! Never be afraid to ask for help! I urge everyone to pick one goal every year, write it down where you will see it every day, and pursue that goal as if your life depends on it! Never stop setting goals; we are here on this Earth to learn.
Me personally, I learn best when I write. It helps me to learn much more effectively. Can you imagine not taking any notes when you’re going to school? How well do you think you would learn? That is why I blog! In addition, I can review my notes and see how far I have come. This helps me retain information well into the future. And I can always search within my WordPress Blog to find what I’m looking for.
You should seriously consider starting a private blog, one that only you can read. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did! It helps me plan my budget, and what tasks I need to focus on. I don’t know where I would be if I didn’t have a plan; and I coordinate that plan through Google and WordPress.
If you’re looking for something social to do, Willy Street Fair is this weekend! Get out and enjoy yourself. Mingle with the public while you still have a chance! This is the last fair of the year, and its always a lot of fun.