That Really Stinks!

I was reading through the blog, Asperger Square 8, and I read some experiences that made me think, “That would really stink!”

Bev, who is the author of the blog, says the following in her article, Autistic Superpowers: Invisibility:

“I am waiting in line. ‘Can I help you?’ the woman behind the counter asks. I’m about to step up and give my order when I realize she’s talking to the guy behind me! I’ve been ‘overlooked’ enough times by sales persons to have gotten used to it. That doesn’t mean I accept it, however. ‘Excuse me,’ I say, ‘I think I was here first’. The counter person seems a bit flustered and redirects her attention but doesn’t apologize or anything.”

That really stinks! There have been many social situations in which I’ve felt invisible, but I would be really upset if an employee of some institution treated me that way. These people are paid to be nice to me!

Then, codeman38 comments:

“What’s particularly frustrating is when I say something and it goes completely ignored, then someone else repeats the same thing almost verbatim and is given credit for it.”

That would really stink! There have been many times when I’ve felt as if people haven’t listened to me, but giving someone else credit for something I said first? I’d be upset!

Probably the closest I got to that was at DePauw University, in an honor scholars’ class. We were discussing Plato’s Apology and Crito, particularly how Socrates chose to disobey and yet honor the law. I mentioned Thoreau, who refused to pay the poll tax but submitted to the state’s penalty out of respect for the governing authorities. Then, minutes later, this one young woman said, “Well, hasn’t anyone here read Thoreau, who disobeyed the law but accepted the authority of the state?” I was slightly upset, but, fortunately, no one ooohed and aaaahed at her comment. That made me feel better!

Life doesn’t always work out neatly. It isn’t necessarily fair, in the sense that people get the treatment they deserve. If there is a neat, divine plan to everything, it doesn’t seem to fit with our standards of neatness, at least not all of the time.

Television sometimes portrays this messiness, and sometimes it doesn’t. For example, one thing that annoys me about 7th Heaven is that people find dating relationships really easily. Yesterday, Martin’s dad–a soldier in Iraq, played by Kenny from Picket Fences (I knew he looked familiar!)–returned to America and met Roxanne. Within seconds, they are making out! Does real life work that way?

I listen to Joel Osteen, and he talks about God bringing promotion to our lives. For Joel, God will ensure that we are in the right place at the right time, so we should trust him for advancement. We don’t need to suck up to our boss!

I heard this spiel in evangelicalism long before I even knew about Joel Osteen. “God has a plan to prosper you,” people told me. And there are biblical examples of this, such as Joseph. But does life really work that way? I have a few books on social skills that my therapist recommended, and their authors talk about how they missed out on many opportunities for advancement because of poor social skills or an inability to promote themselves effectively. So does my success depend totally on me, and not God? Is God working my life out for good? Or does he expect me to work my life out for good, as if that’s even a sure thing?

About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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2 Responses to That Really Stinks!

  1. Pascalian Awakenings says:

    “So does my success depend totally on me, and not God? Is God working my life out for good? Or does he expect me to work my life out for good, as if that’s even a sure thing?”

    My two cents…I think it is a combination. I think God is working in our lives and for our good, but he expects us to work and make right choices. We are responsible to be faithful with the gifts and abilities we have been given, but He is also directing our steps. Often with hindsight we can see where a promotion or new job would not have been the best thing for us, but at the time we may be disappointed. I think we should work hard, pray, make wise decisions and trust that He is caring for His children. I’ll stop rambling now.

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  2. James Pate says:

    Thanks for your comments, Yvette. I read something interesting in this AA book on the 12 Traditions: It said that we always wanted God to do our will and make things perfect, but we didn’t realize that God needed something to work with. For that book, that something includes things like moral inventory, surrendering to a higher power, restitution, etc.

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