Please Don’t Send Me To Prison For Being Autistic Too! — An Open Letter To The Folks Who Just Fired Me For Being Autistic

Dear Folks Who Just Fired Me For Being Autistic,

Please don’t send me to prison for being autistic too!

What’s that you say? “Why would we do that?”

Heck if I know. Why did you fire me for being autistic? What’s your problem with autistic people anyway? Just how deep does your hatred go? Would you actually send me to prison just for being autistic? Do you really hate us that much?

I’ve decided to test this hypothesis. My goal here is to see if you’ll actually send an autistic man (me) to prison simply because he’s autistic. I don’t believe you will, but feel free to prove me wrong.

In order to conduct this test, I’ve decided to simply not return the company laptop you lent me when I started working for you last October. Yup, I’m going to just keep the darn thing, along with all of the protected customer data in contains and to which I still have free and easy access — including the birthdays and Social Security numbers of everyone who raped me last year, all of whom happen to be in your database. I won’t name all of these individuals quite yet, but you can confirm that Frederick T. Smith (CC’d) is in there. I’m pretty sure the simple fact that I know that will be enough to give probable cause to law-enforcement agencies to investigate, and all you folks (or Mr. Smith) need to do is report the crime.

But please don’t do that. Instead, just please recognize that I don’t actually deserve to go to prison simply because I’m autistic; nor do I deserve to be fired for that reason. What I’m really hoping you’ll do is just recognize that you shouldn’t have fired me for being autistic in the first place, and then rehire me back to my job, which was really perfect for me — it was perfect both for my autistic limitations, and it was perfect for my technical skills as well.

Instead of sending me to prison for being autistic, please just let me come back to work.

Sound good?

Let the experiment begin!

Sincerely,

Daniel L. Scholten, a.k.a. “The Walrus”

 

 

You Just Got Me Fired For Being Autistic Again! — Another Open Letter to a Man Who Raped Me

[Trigger Warning: I don’t do trigger warnings (yet).]

Hi Fritz,

Well, congratulations, your evil plot to destroy me for being autistic is working. Remember that dream job I found miraculously last October?[1] The one that made my family and me feel like we had dodged your bullets? The one that was absolutely perfect for me — perfect both for my autistic limitations and my technical skills; perfect because the company is in fact one of the more autism-friendly companies out there, so much so that it even has a program that creates jobs for autistic people?

Well, they just fired me for being autistic, and it’s mostly your fault. You see, Fritz, because you lied [your fault] to the EEOC investigators about why MetLife really fired me, and because the investigators subsequently just believed [their fault] your lies and dropped my charge instead of doing a real investigation [because their boss is your former Seyfarth Shaw colleague Victoria A. Lipnic, Donald Trump’s acting Chair of the EEOC], and because of your own dangerous ignorance and confusion [your fault] regarding autism and no doubt all psychiatric disabilities, I have found it utterly impossible to move past the gang rape you orchestrated and inflicted upon me [and indirectly my family — my children! — since their well-being depends heavily on my own, which you and your fellow rapists stole from us].

Obviously, the people who just fired me are also partly to blame, but it’s mostly because I am still obsessing autistically about that goddamn gang rape. Yes, yes, the “gang rape” that was “only” a “gang rape” in some purely figurative or metaphorical sense; the “so-called” gang rape you all managed to carry out with extreme politeness, with no physical contact whatsoever, and in fact almost entirely in writing! But again, from my perspective, this distinction between gang rape in a “merely figurative” sense, and actual gang rape in the old-school prison-shower sense has been far less useful for me than it has been for you and your fellow gang rapists at MetLife and the EEOC.

Figurative or not, it was a total mind-fuck of an ordeal, and it’s still fucking with my mind and the minds of pretty much everybody who cares about me.

To summarize briefly: I began working at my dream job in late October (2017) and everything started off wonderfully. It was like my family and I had won the lottery. I actually started to lose interest in you, MetLife, and what you had all done to us. I even considered withdrawing my EEOC charge against MetLife, but I was stopped by the idea that doing so would leave you all free to do again to others what you did to us. But by the middle of November, six months had passed since I filed the charge, so I reached out to the EEOC investigators to see if any progress had been made and they sent me that libelous tall tale you wrote for them instead of a legitimate EEOC position statement. When they then turned around and believed your lies, dropping the case and issuing me one of their so-called “Right to Sue” letters, a.k.a. the “Right to risk total bankruptcy by trying to sue a billion-dollar, global multi-national insurance company, that’s when I began to lose my marbles.

But at first not so bad that I wasn’t able to work. At first I was able to compartmentalize well enough to get my work done, but as the weeks passed my job performance began to suffer, and then back in March I could see that I was headed toward complete meltdown again, so I reached out to my doctor to see if she could help me get my head under control with meds. The good news is that she actually succeeded in doing just that, but it took several weeks, and in the meantime I continued to botch things on the job. So then about a month ago I started calling in sick. At first one day, then the next, and the next, until more than two full weeks had passed. Then finally when I was able to get back to work, they fired me under that hackneyed pretext companies always use when they want to fire someone illegally without getting caught, “…we’ve decided to go in a different direction with this role.”[2]

Holy shit, man, is there anybody that is still actually fooled by this nonsense? I seriously doubt it. Somehow we have accidentally gone and built a civilization where it is paradoxically legal to fire people illegally. All you have to do to enter that particular Twilight Zone is utter the magic words “the company has decided to go in a different direction with the role”. Somehow a sentence like that is all that is required to undo 50 some-odd years of Civil Rights legislation. Let’s soap-box that:

trump_nude_statue_210x280

Corporate America’s naked emperor.

HEY, CORPORATE AMERICA, YOU’RE NOT FOOLING ANYONE ANYMORE WITH THIS “GOING IN A DIFFERENT DIRECTION” BULLSHIT! YOUR EMPEROR IS NAKED!

Fritz, you need to tell your clients to stop using this pretext — especially if they’re not actually using it as an excuse to fire someone illegally. Sure, I get it, sometimes a company really does have to make changes and lay people off. But especially in that kind of situation they should never, ever blame the layoff on those changes. Why? Because when they do that, they provide cover for the bad guys — the companies that do fire people illegally and by using the same pretext.

Anyway, I figured you might like to know you have competition now — some new company vying for my attention. I won’t forget about you, though. No, you and I still have work to do together, but my thought furnace is only so big. To the extent that it is cooking one problem, it’s just not available to cook another.

And for now, my thought furnace is cooking this new problem.

Sincerely,

Daniel L. Scholten, a.k.a. “The Walrus”


[1] I don’t believe I have written yet about this on this blog. I did, however, tell Fritz about it in private emails I’ve sent to him. Also, so as not to balloon the text of this letter unnecessarily, I don’t explain that the position was actually a 1 year contract with the company in question, and that I had been recruited for the position by a well-known independent consulting firm. So I was not actually a full-time employee, but was in fact a consultant working for the consulting firm. These details, however, are mostly irrelevant to the events being discussed in the letter. There is another simplification that I make regarding the events in question, explained in footnote [2].

[2] That’s actually the short version of what happened. The long version is that while I was out on leave, I began to feel self-conscious about all the time I was taking, so I promised my employer that if I didn’t pull it together soon, I would resign and allow them to find a replacement. I did that to reassure them, thinking that my new medications would take-effect and I wouldn’t have to resign. But 5 days later, when they still hadn’t really kicked in yet, I decided to make good on my promise and resign. But then a few days after that they did start to work, so I quickly told by employer and asked if I could come back to work, which is when I was given the “going in a different direction” pretext. So, yes, I didn’t actually get fired, per se, but I resigned on good terms with them (or so I thought), they hadn’t yet filled my position, I was ready, willing, and able to work, I asked to come back, and suddenly out of the blue they’re “going in a different direction” with the job.

I call bullshit. The fact that I resigned is irrelevant. I resigned on good terms, am ready to return to work, and now the company won’t take me back. Why? Because they’re “going in a different direction with the role”? Is there anyone who actually buys that nonsense?

I know I don’t.

Calling All Slackers: How to Get Paid and Save the World by Being Lazy, Ignorant, and Self-Entitled

two_boys_poverty_316x210Do you need money? Do you want to help save the world? Are you lazy, ignorant, and self-entitled? If so, then today is your lucky day, because I have recently invented an easy way to re-purpose your currently worthless and embarrassing slackritude into a powerful world-saving money-machine.

[Note: if you are just too educated, hard-working and humble to qualify as a slacker, then don’t despair. You can still use this method, but you probably won’t make as much money. But then again, you probably don’t need money because you have a real job, and in any case you can still feel good about helping to save the world.]

Slackers have always been a persecuted minority. Most of us despise slackers and see them as merely human-ish. They are forced to live in a world that reviles them, marginalizes them, insists that they work for a living like everybody else. Everywhere are advertising messages, movie characters, and other constant reminders that all so-called “real” human beings are hard-working, educated, and humble; and that slackers are somehow defective, inferior sub-human beings. Slackers are systematically denied opportunities to relax, enjoy, love, and really for no other reason than that they earnestly believe that the rest of us owe them a luxurious lifestyle.

If you are lazy, ignorant, and self-entitled (or simply want to save the world), then get ready to transform your life, turn the world on its head, and become the envy of everyone who is too proud to accept charity.

Introducing: Diversity Acceptance Consulting

Diversity Acceptance Consulting is a totally new profession that I am currently inventing  by myself (but only because I haven’t yet been able to entice anyone else to invent it with me). It is nothing less than a way to fix everything wrong with you by re-purposing or up-cycling it into a professional credential. Although in this post we are looking at the particular credential package of laziness, ignorance, and self-entitlement, literally anything and everything about you that may be viewed by others as weird, strange, foreign, yucky, gross, offensive, unattractive, inappropriate, or somehow undesirable can be used by you to do Diversity Acceptance Consulting, if you so choose.

Here’s how it might work if you are lazy, ignorant, and self-entitled:

Whenever a so-called “normal” person — educated, hard-working, humble — becomes aware of your lazy, ignorant, and self-entitled ways, they are presented with a wonderful opportunity to practice and develop their own ability to become aware of, understand, and accept someone they currently despise. But that way of describing it suggests that you as a slacker are somehow constrained to the role of passive bystander. With that way of viewing it, you’re just sort of there by accident, slouched on a couch littered with candy wrappers, binge watching Downton Abbey, and waiting for your soul-mate to break into your home and kidnap you; and whether the so-called “normal” person is even aware of this opportunity, and actually sees it as such is entirely up to him or her.

But you don’t have to be so passive. Even though you are a slacker, there is really nothing stopping you from taking an active role in the encounter. You can literally choose to take control over the situation and guide it proactively toward success. For example, you can simply tell the other person that your own slackrositous magnificence is an opportunity for them to practice and develop their ability to be aware of, understand, and accept boorish space-wasters such as yourself. For example, you might say to them something like,

poor-child_210x224Hello. I am a professional Diversity Acceptance Consultant, specializing in raising awareness, understanding, and acceptance of people who are lazy, ignorant, and self-entitled like I am. Basically, it’s my job to help hard-working, educated, and humble people such as yourself to become aware of, understand, and accept that people like me are perfectly normal human beings who just happen to be lazy, ignorant, and self-entitled. If you see value in your own ability to be tolerant towards people who are different from yourself, then you may wish to become one of my clients and pay me to help you further develop your own awareness, understanding, and acceptance of people like me.

Now, that’s really a hypothetical example. Here is the real deal:

If You Like This Idea, Please Pay Me For Sharing It With You

dscholten 8-8-15Hello. Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Daniel L. Scholten, a.k.a. “The Walrus”, and I am a professional Diversity Acceptance Consultant, specializing in halitosis acceptance. What that means is that it is my job to help people such as yourself to become aware of, understand, and accept walrus breath as a perfectly normal part of the human experience. If you value your own ability to be tolerant towards people who are different from yourself, then you may wish to become one of my clients and to pay me to help you develop your own awareness, understanding, and acceptance of people struggling to survive with breath that can ruin photographs while living among people who can be french-kissed immediately upon waking.

If you would like to pay me for this service, which I provide to my clients in part by refusing to brush my teeth and by chewing plenty of fish oil capsules and raw garlic, then please visit my How to Hire Me Retroactively! page and follow the instructions there.

If You Really Like This Idea, So Very, Very Much That You Too Want To Get Paid And Save The World With Whatever Is Unique About You

If you love as much as I do this idea of Diversity Acceptance Consulting, and you want to get started in this profession, then this is your invitation to do so. And here is one basic way to do it (you are welcome to invent your own way):

  1. Identify your own specialty or specialties: make a list of everything you’re ashamed of, embarrassed about, etc. — the stuff that makes you weird, offensive, or otherwise rejectionable. These are your credentials as a Diversity Acceptance Consultant; this is your platform, your own unique area of expertise. Note: If you really can’t think of any reason that someone might reject you for, then you can use “in deep denial about how others see me” or maybe even manufacture the aforementioned halitosis credential by refusing to brush your teeth and chewing fish oil capsules and cloves of garlic on a regular basis. There are surely other credentials you can simply adopt as well.
  2. Take a proactive role in presenting your credentials to others as opportunities to increase their awareness, understanding, and acceptance of people who share your credential or credentials.
  3. Ask them to pay you for this service.

A few additional points: I view the development of the Diversity Acceptance Consulting profession as an open source project, by which I mean that nobody actually owns this amazing idea it, and anybody is free to contribute to its development and evolution, provided she or he does not try to take control over the project and turn it into some closed source thing.

Have fun, and let me know what you think!

diversity_heart_small

Welcome to My Blog: if You Laugh It’s a Joke, otherwise It’s Art (Especially if It Makes You Feel Kind of Uncomfortable)

The other day I saw a man sitting quietly by himself on a bench in the park, so I approached and asked, “excuse me sir, but do you believe in Jesus?”

He seemed surprised by the question, but then after thinking a moment said, “well, yes I do!”

So then I said “oh”, and paused quietly a moment to think and then continued: “Well, what about psoriasis?”, which was supposed to be a joke! See, my real goal for the encounter was to talk with him about the topic of human diversity. I see this sort of grass-roots, street-level conversation between myself and individual, arbitrary strangers as being a key component of my business model for my new Diversity Acceptance Consulting business. This is how I plan to peddle my product: increased awareness, understanding, and acceptance of human diversity. And to make it concrete, I plan to use pretty much everything about me that might conceivably make me rejection-worthy — the fact that I’m autistic, the fact that I sit when I pee, etc., and as part of my strategy for this particular fellow, I had decided to focus our discussion on my unsightly, psoriatic elbow skin. I had chosen to completely ignore the fact that I’m autistic that day, just to see how things would go. I was going to be just a regular guy talking to a perfect stranger about my psoriatic elbows.

“See?” I said to him, showing him my right elbow. “I’ve got psoriasis. Do you believe in psoriasis?”

Keep in mind, please, that in my head all of this was supposed to be funny. I was trying to get this guy to crack a smile. But he didn’t, and quite stubbornly so. But instead of  just apologizing profusely to the poor man and leaving him alone, for some reason I chose to double down on this train wreck and went wholly in the other direction: I thrust my elbow closer to his face and said, “here, wanna smell it?”

Big mistake. I’m lucky he didn’t punch me right there. But he did get up and I backed away and apologized and he was just shaking his head and saying “please, please, man, just leave me alone. I do not want to talk with you. Please just go away.”

And I did, of course. I felt awful about the disaster. That poor man had been just sitting there quietly, minding his own business, and it was like I abruptly swooped out of the sky like a pterodactyl, opened my sphincter, and released a bucket load of guano all over him, for no apparent reason.

I wish I could say that it ended there, but I was on a roll and couldn’t stop. I actually went back — to apologize more — and I can’t even bear to explain what happened during the next three awful minutes, other than to tell you that it never came to blows — thank goodness — and I definitely wound up playing the autism card. Also, no humans were physically injured, and my parting words to him were “I’m really sorry, man. I feel like an asshole. You win!

I don’t think he felt much like a winner.

 

 

From Bug to Feature: One Easy Way to Fix Anything You Judge to Be Wrong With Yourself, Right Now and for Free!

dilapidated_house_car_315x210

Would you say this picture does a good job of representing how you currently judge yourself or maybe some aspect of yourself? For me it used to be a good way to represent how I felt about certain consequences arising from my own idiosyncratic manifestation of autism (explained below). Image Credit: Pixabay

Do you seem to have a few “bugs” in the design of your brain or body? Do you currently judge yourself to be defective in some way? Weird? Misshapen? Inappropriate? Do you judge some personal trait of yours — perhaps some characteristic, attribute, quality, habit, etc. — to be “too X”, where X is any one or more of the following: fat, skinny, big, small, ugly, attractive, bald, hairy, nice, mean, timid, rude, awkward, elegant, crude, refined, discolored, colorless, dry, moist, wrinkled, without texture, dark, light, boring, or interesting?

If that list doesn’t contain your own special X or maybe X’s, please don’t worry about it because it really doesn’t matter what it is that you judge to be wrong with yourself. Believe it or not, whatever your own “bugs” are, you can easily convert any or all of them into wonderful and thoroughly functional features. Whatever you currently judge to be wrong with you, you really can fix it, right now and for free.[1]

The technique is simple, easy, and astonishingly effective. It is actually a brand new application of exactly the same creative process you use whenever, for example, you pry open a can of paint with a screw driver, or scrape your fingernails clean with the key to your front door. The general principle underlying this type of re-purposing can be summarized as follows:

Functionality/utility depend on context. A given person, place, thing, concept, quality, attribute, trait, characteristic, etc. is more or less functional/useful according to where and how it functions/is used.

This is true in general, but the goal here is to apply this general principle to the specific task of fixing some one or more of your own personal traits (i.e. characteristics, attributes, habits, qualities, etc.) that you yourself judge to be broken in some way (i.e. defective, wrong, ugly, etc.) As you read what follows, you may wish to keep in mind an example of such a personal trait so that you can fix it as you read, but for the sake of illustrating this process, I will use my own uncanny ability to induce some truly worrisome levels of frustration in at least some people.

furious-girlThis particular aspect of my own idiosyncratic manifestation of autism has tended to make my life quite the train wreck over the years, by which I mean, for example, that it once actually drove somebody to toss a knife at me, stabbing me in a knuckle; another person brandished a knife in my general direction; yet another felt compelled to obtain a restraining order against me; and countless others have expressed their frustration toward me via such diverse behaviors as teeth sucking, eye rolling, growling, cursing, screaming, walking away in a huff, refusing to speak to me for several days, or ever again (apparently). That last group includes mostly girlfriends and ex-bosses (not to mention the companies that employ them), but it also includes at least a few friends and family members as well. Although I have never been convicted of any crimes (nor committed any), and have remained friendly with both of my ex-wives, at least two ex-girlfriends, and perhaps 3 or 4 ex-bosses, all of that simply means that things might have been a whole lot worse, which is not to say that they were easy.

Now, in the past I would have taken care to qualify all of this, perhaps by writing “ability” instead of ability, where the quotation marks would signal that I’m using the word as a euphemism for personality defect or character flaw; or perhaps by explaining that “I’m not proud of this so-called ‘ability'” — thus implying that I was ashamed of it — or “never asked for it”, “never wanted it”, “never deliberately set out to frustrate anybody”, etc., but thanks to the process I’m about to share with you, I have almost completely changed my mind about all of that. Although I’m still not really proud of it, per se, I’m definitely not ashamed of it anymore either. In fact, I even feel quite privileged to have it — a real stroke of good luck rather than bad. Indeed, I  see it now truly as an ability, and not some flaw or defect of my personality. For me, this thing that I can do — this ability I have to induce in at least some people truly worrisome levels of frustration — is (in my opinion) a genuine feature of my autistic neurology, and not a “bug”.

Here is how I re-purposed this “bug” in my autistic neurology so that it is now a useful feature of it.

I Became A Diversity Acceptance Consultant

diversity_heart_smallDiversity Acceptance Consulting (DAC) is a brand new profession that I am actively trying to invent. For now I am doing this alone, but you are absolutely welcome to join me. The development of DAC as a profession is an open source project, by which I mean that it belongs to everyone, and anyone can help improve it, provided he or she doesn’t try to commandeer it and turn it into something proprietary.

DAC is nothing less than a simple, easy, and astonishingly effective means to instantly transform any of your “bugs” into a wonderfully useful feature — an easy way to fix anything you judge to be wrong with yourself, right now and for free. It does this by re-purposing your “bug” into a bonafide professional credential — your own, personal licence to get right to work in that particular area of DAC specialization. You can try it out right now with the specific example you chose above, but in order to illustrate how this re-purposing process works, I’ll use the aforementioned ability of mine to induce some truly worrisome levels of frustration in at least some people.

Let’s suppose that after interacting with someone, I notice that he or she is showing signs of frustration. Hopefully he didn’t just toss a knife at me or file a retraining order, but maybe he just sucked his teeth or rolled his eyes or maybe he said something to me like “CHEESES FUCK! WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?!?!?!” Whereas before I might have felt embarrassed, or even retorted with my own outburst (which never goes well), now that I’m a professional Diversity Acceptance Consultant, I can say something like this:

“I apologize if I’ve frustrated you. That is certainly not my intention. I’m actually a professional Diversity Acceptance Consultant specializing in raising awareness, understanding, and acceptance of autism, and this because I’m actually autistic myself. If one knows anything useful about autism, one knows that it is fundamentally a communication disorder, and as a symptom of my own, idiosyncratic manifestation of autism, I am regrettably prone to inducing uncomfortable levels of frustration in at least some people, and although I can never be 100% certain, I find it quite likely that this is what is happening with you right now.”

Although I have yet to try out that particular script myself, I predict that it will be quite effective in diffusing the situation in question and opening up the possibility of a much less frustrating encounter. If that is indeed what happens, I can then follow up with something like the following:

“Thank you for working through that with me. May I ask you to rate my performance here as a Diversity Acceptance Consultant? Do you feel as though you now are more aware, understanding, and accepting of autism?”

If the person confirms that I have indeed been successful in my work, I can then say something like:

“Excellent! I’m glad to know that you now feel more aware, understanding, and accepting of autism. Now, please understand that I am a professional — this is how I make my living — and if you believe you are satisfied with my work here today, I invite you to consider paying me for it. You are not obligated to do so, of course, but if you wish to do so, I accept cash, checks, Master Card and Visa….”

Now, ideally the person would actually pay me, but really I suspect the greatest rewards that will accrue from this kind of work will be the sense of satisfaction and fulfillment, not simply from a job well done, but in particular from the fact that I’ve helped raise awareness, understanding, and acceptance of autism.

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This picture represents how I see my ability to frustrate people now that I am a professional Diversity Acceptance Consultant. Image Credit: Pixabay

So that’s how I have been able to re-purpose one of my most serious “bugs”, but really the exact same process can be adapted to virtually anything from acne to zoophobia. Whatever it is that you currently judge to be wrong with you — whatever “bugs” you think you currently have in your own brain/body design — you now have an easy way to re-purpose them…

Right now and for free![1]

Have fun and please let me know what you think in a comment, or by sending me an email via my Contact page.


[1]That’s right, for free. But if you really enjoy and benefit from this post — or anything else you discover on my blog –you may wish to express your appreciation by hiring me retroactively to create it. How to do this is explained on my How to hire me retroactively page, which, by the way, you may copy and adapt to use on your own blog to make it easy for you to get started in your own career as a Diversity Acceptance Consultant! [Please remember, though, this is an open source thing, so you can copy and use it as is, but you have to allow others to do the same.]

Image Credit: Pixabay (Robot Self-Repair)

How to Get Paid and Save the World with Halitosis

man_blowing_smoke_315x210Do you need money? Do you want to help save the world? Do you have breath that sets off smoke alarms? Then today is your lucky day, because I have recently invented an easy way for you to turn that denticulated stink-hole beneath your nose into a powerful world-saving money-machine.

[Note: if you don’t already suffer from halitosis, you can still take advantage of this amazing opportunity simply by refusing to brush your teeth and chewing fish oil capsules and cloves of raw garlic on a regular basis like I do.]

People who suffer from chronic halitosis are still and always have been a persecuted minority. They are forced to live in a world that oppresses them, marginalizes them, reviles them. Everywhere are advertising messages and constant reminders that they are somehow defective, deficient, inferior sub-human beings. They are denied opportunities to work, play, and love, and really for no other reason than that they can cause gagging and eye-watering when surrounded by other people in an enclosed space such as an elevator, waiting room, or hockey arena.

horse_mouth_315x210If  you suffer from chronic halitosis (or simply want to), then get ready to transform your life, turn the world on its head, and become the envy of everyone who can’t knock a bird from the sky by yawning.

Introducing: Diversity Acceptance Consulting

Diversity Acceptance Consulting is a totally new profession. It is nothing less than a way to turn everything wrong with you into a professional credential. Although in this post we are looking specifically at the halitosis credential, literally anything and everything about you that is viewed by others as weird, gross, offensive, unattractive, inappropriate, or somehow undesirable can be used by you to do Diversity Acceptance Consulting, if you choose.

Here’s how it might work with halitosis. Whenever someone detects your bad breath, they are presented with a wonderful opportunity to practice and develop their own ability to recognize, understand, and accept someone with halitosis. But that way of describing it suggests that you are somehow constrained to the role of passive bystander. With that way of viewing it, you’re just sort of there by accident, stinking up the room, causing the paint to peel on the ceiling (melting the polar icecaps, etc.), and whether the person is aware of this opportunity, and sees it as such is entirely up to him or her.

But you don’t have to be so passive. There is nothing stopping you from taking an active role in the encounter. You can literally choose to take control over the situation and guide it proactively toward success. For example, you can simply tell the other person that your stinky breath is an opportunity for them to practice and develop their ability to recognize, understand, and accept people who have halitosis like you. For example, you might say to them something like,

walrus_cartoon_280x210Hello. Allow me to introduce myself. You can call me The Walrus, and I am a professional Diversity Acceptance Consultant, specializing in halitosis acceptance. What that means is that it is my job to help people such as yourself to become aware of, understand, and accept halitosis as a perfectly normal part of the human experience. If you see value in your own ability to be tolerant towards people who are different from yourself, then you may wish to become one of my clients and pay me to help you develop your own awareness, understanding, and acceptance of people who suffer from halitosis.

Now, that’s really a hypothetical example. Here is the real deal:

If You Like This Idea, Please Pay Me For Sharing It With You

Hello. Allow me to introduce myself. You can call me The Walrus, and I am a professional Diversity Acceptance Consultant, specializing in autism acceptance. What that means is that it is my job to help people such as yourself to become aware of, understand, and accept autism as a perfectly normal part of the human experience. If you value your own ability to be tolerant towards people who are different from yourself, then you may wish to become one of my clients and to pay me to help you develop your own awareness, understanding, and acceptance of people who struggle with autism to survive in a world that has been largely designed by and built for people without autism.

If you would like to pay me for this service, which I provide to my clients by writing and promoting this blog, then please visit my How to Hire Me Retroactively! page and follow the instructions there.

If You Really Like This Idea, So Much That You Too Want To Get Paid And Save The World With Whatever Is Weird About You

If you love as much as I do this idea of Diversity Acceptance Consulting, and you want to get started in this profession, then this is your invitation to do so. And here is one basic way to do it (you are welcome to invent your own way):

  1. Identify your own specialty or specialties: make a list of everything you’re ashamed of, embarrassed about, etc. — the stuff that makes you weird. These are your credentials as a Diversity Acceptance Consultant. If you can’t think of anything, then you can easily create the halitosis credential by refusing to brush your teeth and chewing fish oil capsules and cloves of garlic on a regular basis. There are surely other credentials you can simply adopt as well.
  2. Take a proactive role in presenting your credentials to others as opportunities to increase their awareness, understanding, and acceptance of people who share your credential or credentials.
  3. Ask them to pay you for this service.

A few additional points: I view the development of the Diversity Acceptance Consulting profession as an open source project, by which I mean that nobody actually owns it, and anybody is free to contribute to its development and evolution, provided she or he does not try to take control over the project and turn it into some closed source thing.

Have fun, and let me know what you think!

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Towards a Manifesto for a Minimally Intolerant Civilization: Part 2

For context, please see Towards a Manifesto for a Minimally Intolerant Civilization: Part 1.

Note: the notion of diversity (i.e. weirdness in layperson language) is fundamentally subjective. One person’s weirdness is just what another person considers normal. Because of this, one must be careful with phrases like “my diversity” or “your diversity”. When I say “my diversity”, I could be referring either to what I judge to be weird about myself, but I might also be referring to what you judge to be weird about me. Similar remarks apply to phrases like “your diversity” or “her diversity”, etc. Because both interpretations are valid, I will take care in what follows to qualify which interpretation I’m using, unless either it doesn’t matter or is perhaps clear from the context.

Some Basic Principles Of Diversity Acceptance

For now at least, and until I encounter the sort of evidence that might change my mind, I hold at least these principles to be reasonable:

  1. Genuine diversity acceptance can only begin with genuine self acceptance of one’s own diversity. The better I can genuinely accept what I judge to be weird about myself, the better I can genuinely accept what I judge to be weird about you. I assume that you could affirm likewise, but please let me know if you think I’m wrong to assume that.
  2. Therefore, if I would like you to accept my diversity (what you judge to be weird about me), I should encourage you to accept your own (what you judge to be weird about yourself).
  3. Some forms of intolerance are necessary and good (e.g. intolerance of murder, rape, theft, pedophilia, etc.)
  4. The very best form of intolerance would be that which minimizes the need for any sort of intolerance overall.
  5. Intolerance is always on trial, and should never be given the benefit of the doubt. Intolerance is always presumed wrong unless proven right.
  6. One should always remain vigilant to the possibility that what was once a good form of intolerance has somehow turned bad.

I would love to know what you think about the above, especially if any of it rings false to you in some way.

Note: I’m not sure yet if there will be a part 3, but in the event I will post a link to it here.


Image Credit: Pixabay