There are things you just can’t change
Many New Year’s resolutions are negative, You hate yourself for being overweight so you resolve to lose weight or join a gym. Thanks to Katherine May for this, So instead of focusing on something about myself I feel bad about, and will feel bad if I do not achieve it making it worse. I am going to do something for other people that I know I have no chance at all of achieving.
There are some things that you have little chance in changing, and yet they need to change. Most protest movements do not benefit the people involved, but do benefit those later on. A couple of examples:
William Wilberforce started campaigning in parliament in 1787. The Slave Trade act was passed in 1807, but slavery was still legal. Wilberforce kept on campaigning until he retired in 1826 due to ill health and the Slavery Abolition act was passed on 26th July 1833. Wilberforce died 3 days later, never having seen a slave freed.
in 1832 the Great Reform Act was passed, a formal acknowledgement that women did not form part of the electorate and were therefore excluded! The Women’s Suffrage movement then. In 1867 a proposal to give women equal rights to men was defeated by parliament and although a number of women over 30 got the vote in 1918 it was not until 1928 that women could vote with the same rights as men. The protesters from 1832 never got to vote, but future generations did.
The issues that affect me are:
I was sent by school to see a psychiatrist at the age of 10. That someone could be autistic and intelligent was unknown in Britain in 1964. It was only in 2012, when I was sacked for what was thought of as a temper tantrum, and sought help. A psychologist suggested I get diagnosed for Asperger’s syndrome, but the accountants at the health authority said no. What I have been told all my life was an anger problem turns out to be mostly a meltdown, which is a reaction to the brain being overloaded and not anger related.
I developed arthritis after an accident which is a nuisance in summer heat, but gets bad in the cold and damp at this time of year. Walking using crutches I notice access issues and lack of handrails or rails in inappropriate places on slopes and steps. There are lot of things that need doing to help disabled people, and not all about access.
I have had type 2 diabetes since 2015. I still get fat shamed on social media as it was assumed that type 2 is always caused by being overweight. I was not, but there’s no telling people who have seen one documentary or have been in a Facebook discussion. Because of lockdown I have now got the extra pounds I was missing.
If it’s one it must be all
So whilst my main concerns will be with autistic and disabled rights, there are a lot of issues out there. 2020 saw the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement. Some countered with saying that All Lives matter, but they were wrong. Here’s why.
All lives should matter, but all lives will not matter until black lives matter.
All lives should matter, but all lives will not matter until autistic lives matter.
All lives should matter, but all lives will not matter until disabled lives matter.
All lives should matter, but all lives will not matter until women’s lives matter.
All lives should matter, but all lives will not matter until LGBT+ lives matter.
All lives should matter, but all live will not matter until trans lives matter.
And the rest. If that means I am going to be even more irritating, so be it. I cannot be sacked from being retired.
Last year, having spent two and a half years reading through the Bible twice up to the end of 2019, I said the focus would be on worship. Then before three months had gone the Covid-19 pandemic closed the churches. What I have learned is that what I thought about worship was mostly wrong. Worship does not need an expensive building or a large crowd to happen. Of course I already knew this, but it has taken a long time without worshipping with others in the same dedicated space for it to really sink in.
That is my planned focus for the year. Let’s see what the year brings.