Alright; I have to leave for work in half an hour. Let's see if I can squeeze out this post.
The premise is this: I don't think autism is any excuse to be a jerk.
On previously-mentioned message board which I have no longer been visiting, someone wrote a post about a man at his church who was joking around with him. The poster felt that the man was making fun of him, because he laughed a lot. He said that he had tried not answering, but the man continued to try to converse with him. He asked the board for advice about what to do to get the "offender" to leave him alone.
There were four pages of responses, and all but one or two involved things such as the following:
-Call him a swear word and walk away.
-Scream at him, including swear words, and tell him to quit being said swear word.
-Tell one of the higher-ups at church that this man was harrassing him.
-You get the idea.
I posted something like this: "I'm absolutely tired of hearing that people on this board can't make friends, and then this is how you tell someone to deal with a man who may well just be trying to be friendly? Many people with ASD falsely believe that someone is making fun of them; I know I've done it many times in the past. Instead of being flat out rude to this man, try something like this. 'I appreciate that you're trying to make conversation with me, but I find myself not understanding your jokes and it makes me feel as if you're laughing at my expense. I'm guessing that this is not your intent, but it's upsetting me, and I thought you should know.'"
In this case, it was so easy for me to see these people's bad attitude and how it was causing them to act rudely.
You see, that's when I realized something. I'm no better than they are. At work, everyone talks behind everyone else's backs. And lately, when I've been immsensely frustrated, I've been doing the same thing. I talked about J to A, and D to J, and J to D, and C to J, and J to Kand... oh my.
I've been really intrigued by Paul's list of the fruits of the Spirit in Galations 5 lately. To me, they seem like a checkpoint. Are you loving? Joyful? Peaceful? Patient? Kind? Good? Faithful? Gentle? Do you have self-control? You can't show all the fruits of the Spirit without being in the Spirit. If you are in the Spirit, chances are good that you will show its fruits. Some come easily to me... gentleness, for example. Others, like self-control and peace, not so much. So in my prayer journal I wrote down the fruits of the Spirit and how I could demonstrate each one at work, since work seems to be my big stumbling block. Today I will focus on self-control by not speaking words in anger or frustration.
Autism is no excuse to be a jerk, Lydia. Don't forget it.