Exile is Not The Solution to Social Problems

I’ve been seeing an astonishing number of concerning posts these days about people pushing what is essentially exile as a solution to a lot of our social problems.

Does an immigrant/refugee turn out to be a criminal? People say we should go ahead and kick them to the curb so they can go on killing people in another country. But should we do that instead of just locking said criminal up with the rest of the those who broke the law?

Does someone on welfare turn out to be a “leeche” living in Manitoba housing? People suggest we should shut down Manitoba housing and then ship those on welfare to every other province.

Homeless problem? Make homelessness unlawful and drop off homeless people all off at the border!

Seriously, this bothers me because I’m a disabled person who has to deal with people taking my quirks the wrong way because of Aspergers. This bothers me because I just barely avoid homelessness on some occasions because my so-called disability hampers me from getting a job. I just have to ask as tactfully as I can; “Canadian Social Media, what the hell is your problem?”

It seems like the nutty right-wing virus from kakistocracy has been spreading across North America ever since Trump and Trudeau took office. Maybe we should avoid electing people whose last names start with “T-R-U.” But that would be just as stupid a solution as what I just outlined.

Anyone proposing what’s in the above paragraph isn’t trying to fix any of our problems, or even wants to attempt to take these problems on as a humanitarian. All the bitter entitled second class wants to do is simply pass the buck or put the blame onto someone or something else.

The worst part of all this is that some of these posts are from those who call themselves Christians! WHY?!

It’s so easy to buy into a lie that just because we have a smartphone or an internet connection, we have the authority or even the ability to change someone’s confirmation bias.

 

First, here’s a big point for Christians to consider:

Regardless of any social issue politically speaking, Conservatives will eventually loose every single cultural war when they try to legislate and authorize their understanding of God’s morality unto others. I have personally tried to do this and have seen an entire decade of my life disappear before my eyes because of it. Christians who get pissed off because their country is shifting away from their understanding of God’s morality should read what the Bible says about idolatry. When we put nationalism before human beings, it’s equal to worshiping a golden calf. As the church, Christians need to stop spending so much time, energy, effort, and money calling out the speck in the government’s eye. Only after attempting and confronting planks in our own faces, Christians can actually take on humanitarian problems and have a greater impact on the kingdom of God they’re trying to build as a result. If anyone has read history books, accounts of the crusades, the life of Martin Luther, and has a completely clear understanding of how the New Testament church related to the Roman government, let them make a change in the world today. Do this and unity will prevail over exile.

Second, if you really can’t tolerate something, grow a pair and walk away:

Yes, I said it. I’m not just talking about the fact that we all have faults and fall short of God’s glory. There are some things where because of relationship dynamics, it’s not a time and place to pick fights or confront someone on an issue. There are times when because you don’t know the whole story, it’s best to walk away or focus on your own personal battles. Not everyone is cut out to be an evangelist, a counselor, or a hero. I’m not saying that we should let a rape or beating happen if it’s going down right in front of us. I’m saying that if I were to confront a homosexual couple making out in a church and I’m just another number who occupies a pew rather than a loving pastor or a respected elder in the congregation, that couple will never want to know Christ if I tell them to break it off just because it disgusts me (this is only the case if I was in the shoes of an intolerant Christian).  Online, it’s so easy to buy into a lie that just because we have a smartphone or an internet connection, we have the authority or even the ability to change someone’s confirmation bias. Offline, we think that just because we’re all equal in Christ, we have the authority to “lift each other up.” We don’t know everyone’s story or struggle or even if everyone around us is a believer in Jesus Christ or not. So unless someone is close to you, you have earned authority over them, or they’re a really good friend of yours, just walk away before you potentially emotionally or spiritually abuse them. This will essentially force them into exile.

Sidenote: I want this blog to be a comfort for those struggling with autism, but I also want it to be a place where deeper thinking and deeper conversations can be initiated. That is the goal, not the change a person’s mind, or make myself look smarter than everyone else, or to have my readers agree with whatever I post.

Christians really need to learn to turn the other cheek:

If an immigrant is more qualified and takes a position you were trying to get with years of university or college, turn the other cheek and look for another job while waiting for another position to open up. I let a friend take a web design job I applied for. We’re still talking today and he’s giving me tips to make this blog better and better. If a person asks for change and they do look like they’re down and out, buy them something from Subway instead, and then walk away while turning the other cheek if they try to take advantage of you. If a person is looking for work and has a hard time finding a job, help them find a place to volunteer and then maybe something will come up afterwards. I recently had a conversation about knowing who the poor really are. It’s tough to determine who in North America is poor just because the definition of privilege in subjective.  People may have money but some of them are poor in spirit. They need help as well. Maybe money may not be the right thing to give. Try giving your time, your resources, eduction, or if nothing else…just listen to their side of the story and do your best to thoroughly understand what’s going on from their point of view before concluding they’re a con-artist.

I get that this isn’t always black and white, and sometimes a fight needs to happen if personal resources or a budget is put into harm by how much a person gives away. My point is that it’s better to understand where people of different social statuses come from before making a post that advocates a change in the way they’re treated. The unity that Christ is looking for is a culture that is centered around sharing the relationships and the blessings the rich and the poor can benefit from through the gospel. When anyone of any social class can share what’s in common with each-other rather than focus on differences (racial or any other dynamic),  unbreakable unity and friendships are established. It just goes without saying, yet reminders have to be posted or broadcasted again and again. It amazes me how people can take a simple commandment such as “love your neighbor as yourself” and complicate it with a whole bunch of grey complex issues such as unwanted racism, abortion, gun or birth control, and culturalism that can be tolerated. We all can build unity and avoid exile even though we can’t always agree on everything.

Lastly, instead of exile, let’s meet the people that are posted about where they’re at:

When a person is part of a vocal majority, it’s easier to speak. Sometimes the best thing a majority member can do as I said before…is just to listen.

Even if you may not necessarily sit down or hang out with someone who’s of lower status than you, there are a huge amount of ways a person can listen to those who are considered by society as “lower class.”

Instead of posting on social media about how “leeches” are stealing government money or how immigrants are stealing our jobs, how about getting the whole story by volunteering at a soup kitchen or donating to a food bank and personally delivering the goods? Instead of posting about how autistic children are over-vaccinated “wild animals” who need a cure, let’s celebrate milestones in their development such as their ability to say their first words if they can’t speak, or their ability to find something to be passionate about which will land them a great job. Instead of posting about how white people are racist and abusive, let’s post about solutions or environments where walls are torn down between minorities and “the white man.” This will solve many issues when it comes to exile.

I usually like to question a lot of things but this is one exception. The constant rhetoric of all these posts about exile is just a lazy and selfish way of actually trying to fix the problem. The reason that this type of social questioning will only result in a loop is due to the fact sooner or later someone else will also drop their problems from an entitled mentality on you. What will you as a reader of my blog do then if that happens?

Getting Stuck: Rituals, Routine, Obsessions, and Aspergers

Rituals, routine, and obsessions are a featured characteristic of those who struggle with Aspergers. This is unfortunately one of my weaknesses known as getting stuck. It is also an occasional strength when writing or talking about something I’m passionate about. In order to cope with anxiety and stress that comes from the crazy nutty world we live in, people like me can get stuck on passionate or trending subjects and repeat certain behaviours for comfort (I play with my hair, and when telling my wife it’s a stim, she says “What?!”). While some people who struggle on the spectrum may spend their routine intensely studying one passion, others may be somewhat neurotic about keeping their house or apartment tidy, lining up items in a particular order (I do this at work all the time), or even trying to control their environment so their routine isn’t disrupted or their fear of chaos and anarchy doesn’t occur. Does this remind you of anyone?

Some psychological testing states that the memory of a kid struggling with Aspergers may not be better than neurotypical individuals. Yet the behemoth of facts and maxims he/she memorized probably shows how much time and effort went into gaining knowledge on one or two subjects they’re passionate about compared to lack of knowledge of everything else.

Usually subjects that involve connection or that have inherent networks, such as maps, weather patterns, or airline schedules are particular matters that lead to an Asperger type of obsession. Although it is commonly thought that obsessions can be a strength which can be exploited in an educational environment, these obsessions can hamper how they cope with daily life. Individuals on the spectrum are more interested in how things work or how systems of code such as those in software are developed versus psychology (or how people work).

Here are some things I get stuck on and how I either use a metaphorical loop counter, or switch my focus all together.

  • Modular Synthesis

    Creating music with different synths is actually a lot of fun. When coming up with different sounds based on how things like waveform patterns are connected with effects such as delay, reverb and compression, I could write a book about this in this post, but check on the DAW Sunvox to understand what I’m talking about.
  • TV and Movies

    I love fandom, different television shows, and movies. Sometimes my wife gets annoyed when I constantly talk and talk about how all the MCU movies are connected. Luckily this is short lived when we both talk about music or movies we’re both into. Some of our Flash and Harry Potter discussions can get very deep in the rabbit hole, and she understands it’s a process to give closure to conversations I’m passionate about.
  • Injustice in the News (especially with autism)

    We all want to see a better world. When something really grinds my gears, my brain constantly sees the problem in my mind like a broken record that’s been scratched. Sometimes the only way to undo this is to ride it out and show me something else that is more important. And because of how emotionally intense some fake news sites are when I used to fall for them before 2015, I would be raving and ranting about them for at least a week. There was one point where I was confronted about constantly being stuck on a Trump issue. I can understand how it’s sensitive, but it’s a problem for me too especially knowing his crazy views on vaccines and autism.
  • BreakupsWe all know how painful break-ups can be. Looking back on when I was single, I found that whenever I’ve been rejected by a girl or gone through a breakup, it would take at least 6 months to literally get through the first four stages of grief. I would spend hours locked away in my room listening to the radio with tears in my eyes or constantly yelling at a TV screen while playing a video game. At one point in my teens, it actually took me a year and a half to get through the whole process of grieving one relationship failure. Luckily at that time, there was no Facebook or I would have posted about the pain every hour I was online.
  • Artistic IdeasWhen I have an idea, I just have to work on getting that particular artistic project finish. One of the reasons I love composing chiptune music is because I can easily focus on the composition as opposed to the simple sounds which take seconds to program. Usually it takes just under two hours to create a song. With longer projects where I do need breaks, I can’t seem to get another task done until the song is completely composed. My struggle with Aspergers probably is an indication as to why my music could be better than it actually is. However, if you do enjoy my music, gladly continue to support me.
  • Theological Disagreements (thankfully not so much now)I used to be a very closed-minded Christian until late 2015. I would constantly try to argue my point and somehow end up repeating the same exact statement I hold fast to over and over again rather than listen to the other side of a debate. In one conversation I had with a woman regarding arguing my point when it comes to abortion, I kept on saying verbatim. “I don’t care what the hell you’re saying. This is black and white. Abortion is murder.” I was stuck in my ways and I needed to learn that part of a healthy debate involves understanding where the other person I’m arguing with is coming from. Eventually she indicated that she’s uncomfortable judging a woman because of her choices but she understands where I’m coming from. It was actually a valid point. I can be against abortion and still accept a woman regardless of her past.

As a bonus, here are some of the repetitive things I’ve always enjoyed and even studied about constantly not just to figure out how they work, but just to take in and relax myself.

  • Hip-hop beats/electronic music/trance music/deep house
  • Records (yes, the spinning fascinates me)
  • Where Bible verses constantly elude to the same them or almost say exactly the same thing verbatim
  • Market Research Surveys
  • App Development
  • Platform Games
  • Experience Growth Patterns in JRPGs

A Realistic Look at Entitlement and Suffering

I grew up in a culture of entitlement and not much suffering. My parents and teachers raised me under the impression that I was special and that God would give me the dream and legacy I dreamed about as a teenager.

After almost achieving that dream in high school but failing, I became attracted to pastors who fed on the entitlement of the rich and high class: AKA the prosperity gospel. I was attracted to pastors who would easily “usher in miracles and give his flock instant hearings or financial gain.” I was attracted to others who would name and claim their healing or better finances. I was attracted to leaders who had influence but manipulate people into a hyper-Pentecostal cults. These false prophets also feed on the entitlement mentality of victims looking for a miracle. And of course with having Aspergers,I really need a miracle to see my dreams come to past. Or do I?

I’m still working towards my freedom. But taking time to reflect on my past has made me realize that it’s better to depend on God through suffering than treat God like a genie or Santa Claus. I do wish my suffering was less, but I’m at the point of taking it one day at a time. I think that is much more of an inspiration than prosperity messages. People are sold to a gospel that is attractive and I wanted to be a celebrity with a gospel I can sell while seeing others change. The fact I never got there after a decade of trying shows I have something else I need to do. Maybe my story will just be a chronicle of finding myself. I guess the parts that will change others forever is that I’ll never give up my fight to find purpose in life.

Influences, Niches, and Inspiration

Last year I took some time to reflect while enjoying the wild that is the Spirit Sands south of Carberry, Manitoba.

I’ve realized something last year. Influence in community is really the only thing I’m deeply searching for, even though I prefer solitude as an artist. I just keep looking for it in the wrong places. I’ve always valued being heard and listened to, but in the end, it doesn’t get me anywhere. The truth is that I’m not a good leader as much as I want to be. I’m an inspiration. I’m a person who makes others think. I don’t change a person’s life. I show them doors to walk through. Pushing people to open those doors never ends well. Only an audience member can decide to succumb to the things I say or the example I lead.

After figuring this out, I’m not opposed to living a life in service to others without a dream. I’m not opposed to representing a small circle of people or small town who share a common goal. I think just doing my part on my own turf is all the influence I need to achieve the significance and community I’ve been looking for.

My wife and I were discussing how difficult life in Winnipeg can be just due to the pace and demanding mentality of the world around us. She wants to move back to a simpler life in the country just working simple well paying jobs and encouraging a small niche community. I don’t blame her. While I doubt this exists, I feel a desire to look for a life that can compliment my struggle with Aspergers. I’m at the point where there’s too much “noise” and “speed” in my life and I’m just scraping by. I need to live life that’s more quiet and as “properly paced” as possible. I’m not saying I should isolate or drop everything, but some of what I live for means nothing now and I have to let go of it over the past year. I think I can manage life better once I live for others almost completely. Perhaps moving into the country may not necessarily be the solution, but it will be a place where we can focus as a family and enjoy God’s beauty. After being refreshed, we would go about our work in our small groups where we fit, and just let things organically grow from there.

Foot In Mouth

I have a tendency to say things I’ll regret later. Putting my foot in my mouth has always been an issue for me. Some say its odd since verbal communication is a slight weakness in conversation while Charlene points out a strength in writing our emails and texts to each other. I guess I have my impulsive moments that get me into trouble. So I’ll be thinking more before I speak if I have something to say while continuing to write as a sideline.

The other thing that’s sad about myself that I can never fix is the Aspergers trait where I want to contribute to a conversation so badly but a lot of times, my response ready buffer is empty. People see that as being extremely shy, but the real truth is that I don’t know what to say. Either the subject in conversation isn’t my thing (no offense) or too big for my simple brain. It’s something I have to accept even as a friend who constantly wants to keep things two-way but is stuck listening. Having that on top of the burden of saying the wrong thing can be exhausting for me in a social setting. Please don’t be surprised if I withdraw or chase me if I do. I actually hate being an introvert when out of my creative zone.

My outlook of the world has changed so much in 2014

Ever since I’ve been struggling through depression and a back/leg injury in 2014, I’ve been doing a lot of research about my viewpoint of this world and the beliefs and entitlement that I grew up with. My outlook of the world has changed so much. Here’s a few things that I’ve learnt, and please be constructive if you e-mail me in disagreement with any of them:

  • God only allows you to have so much of what you want, but He gives everything you need.
  • Blessing and prosperity is subjective.
  • A job you love is a blessing, but not everyone deserves it.
  • Constant exposure to the spotlight is only for a few people.
  • Telling kids they are special and that they can do anything may screw them up. Sure you can encourage them to be anything they want, just don’t give them a sense that they are entitled to be what they want.
  • It’s great to have a dream on cloud 9 as long as it’s grounded and realistic.
  • We live in a world of struggle. There’s always going to be something that needs to be fixed.
  • Bad things happen to you and things won’t go your way. You can whine about it, but in the end, God does answer prayer, but He only answers it His way, not yours.
  • God has the right not to answer to you.
  • Being “ordinary” in a world that seems mundane can be amazing.
  • If you aren’t satisfied with what you have, you won’t be satisfied with what you want. Some things shouldn’t be chased after. Let those things come to you.

Welcome to life with Aaron Parsons.

A Life of Giving It All

I don’t mind if my music or digital art goes nowhere. I’m starting not to mind my suffering. I win just by doing God’s will for my life. That’s it. I won’t purposely try to convert people or push my viewpoints on them like conservatives with a “father-knows-best” mentality. That is mean and abusive.

Many pastors are asking, maybe even pushing the laity to a life of giving it all and going overseas as a missionary, or dropping their current lifestyles to go to Bible college and become a pastor or minister. It’s not a bad question. There is a need for more missionaries and more people to work the harvest. But another question needs to be asked.

Are you willing to be one of the nameless believers in history who have never seen the spotlight?
Are you okay with being forgotten by everyone but God and the rest of heaven?
Are you willing to be faithful right where you are even if God is the only one who sees you?
Are you sure you’ll be okay with no one writing a book about you and what you did in the name of Christ?
Finally, are you willing to live and believe in a God of mundane people?

This is the question that has haunted me ever since my dark times in Brandon Manitoba between 2009 and 2012. I’ve fought hard with the answer no. I wanted respect. I wanted a fan base. I wanted the spotlight because I tasted little of it here and there before 2010. But most of all, I wanted to change the entire world and leave a legacy. Who doesn’t?

After a few Brandon MB friends completely turned their backs on me, the desire turned to a hopeless chase of online schemes for a chance for my digital art to go viral. After going into debt, determining what’s important in marriage and seeing a small community that was deep, fun, and catering to my interests as a geek and musician, I understand what it truly means to be blessed even in a life where to others it can be pretty mundane. So yes, I plan to live and change the world, but just the world that is within my reach. I don’t care if I’m forgotten. It will hurt to loose a few friends and it will rock to gain new ones.

Looking back on the life I used to have in Brandon now, I understand some of my choices resulted in what I went through the past 6 and a half years. Some have also resulted in lifelong choices I can never reverse. The journey isn’t over. I’m still working on forgiving the people who hurt me. I’m working on forgiving myself. I’m still working on replacing the lies I picked up through prosperity gospels, fake news, and hyper-Pentecostal bull. God is good. He helps me learn who He really is and what He really wants for me. It will still take some time for me to feel this daily. I’m feeling better letting things go even as of late. I really don’t need much. Just something to song-write with like laptop or iPad or game console that makes music and a small community to contribute music to such as a Facebook group or an open mic. I’m okay letting go of everything else. I just pray this feeling of closeness to God won’t go away.

I don’t mind if my music or digital art goes nowhere. I’m starting not to mind my suffering. I win just by doing God’s will for my life. That’s it. I won’t purposely try to convert people or push my viewpoints on them like conservatives with a “father-knows-best” mentality. That is mean and abusive. I’ll hang out with people and let them see by my lifestyle and through Jesus that life can be full even if it simply is just creating something and letting others around me enjoy it. Despising my previous need for a radical lifestyle, and breaking away from people who push the radical gospel on others, has only been beneficial for me. It changed me for the better and is slowly releasing me from my depression and entitlement.