If Not Us, Then Who?

Lots of nutritious back and forth in comments this week, with Rachel and Stephanie each taking exception to my post last Friday.  Before diving back in to the fray, I’d like to lay out one context in which I at least see our disagreements occurring.

Back in August of 2009, prior to the launching of this site, I had the following exchange with its founder, Andrew Lehman:

Before trying to step off the cliff into the air like Wiley E. Coyote though, maybe I ought to ask: where, Andrew, is the data to which I can point as evidence of the widespread distribution of sub-clinical autism across the present-day human population? Is there any yet?

Ah, I’m not sure that can be communicated as easily as a data set. We are talking about a measurement of consciousness. In the West, we haven’t even concluded that consciousness exists, let alone whether it is measurable.

I’m not sure this is what Stephanie was getting at when she asserted that “Maybe we will someday be advanced enough in human understanding and mathematics to create a viable statistical model. But we’re not now.”  I am pretty sure that Andrew was proposing that the question is properly answered from a wholly different plane, one that may not yield at all to statistical analysis, while Stephanie was staying within the realm of data sets.

Whatever the answer, it’s a question I come back to over and over.  Whether I happen to be chasing phantoms just at the moment or not, the notion of everyday autism everywhere, hidden in plain sight, consistently overlooked and misidentified, is one that’s haunted me for over a decade now.  In the paragraph prior to the one I just quoted, I half-jokingly compared the prospect of writing for Shift to Edward Abbey’s description of the artist’s job, i.e. “To be a miracle worker:  make the blind see, the dull feel, the dead to live ….”  Specifically, I was referring to the challenge of “making” others see what’s hidden in plain sight – and to the extent that that comparison is an apt one, it may be that data sets are in fact not the way to go.  The task may for instance be more a matter of dismantling social constructs that stand in the way of perception.

With that all in mind then — this week Stephanie has had me defending my claims about what measurable effect on the moral climate we might expect from the presence of autism in the human population.

We have a loose consensus around here that in addition to a definition of autism that is useful for guiding the allocation of services and accommodations for autistics there is also as Stephanie puts it, “utility in a definition that accounts for those of us who have autistic attributes, but either are more able to adapt or are less pronounced in those attributes–a definition that would include me. I believe there is room for that kind of distinction, and that there is social value in that kind of distinction.”

The question for me then has always been that if this is so, what is the reach of that social utility:  does it extend beyond mere insight into the identification of tangible effects on society, or just what exactly – if any – are the larger consequences of autism’s larger presence?  Last week I offered that some of the answer might have to do with supporting the moral climate, and I used pretty strong language to do so, proposing:

Yea, though the souls of all the world’s Sunday School teachers and Scoutmasters cry out in horror at the thought, our collective conscience may not be best embodied in – for instance – that genial, slyly named insect Jiminy Cricket; that “still small voice” may not actually be something so forthrightly or reliably transmissible by example, instruction, and religious culture. Our collective, national conscience in America as elsewhere may instead be carried from generation to generation on the backs of those who populate the neighborhood in and around the Broad Autism Phenotype.

In response to Stephanie’s raised eyebrows here, I acknowledged this was “intentionally provocative hyperbole.” The more defensible position might be simply to claim that autism contributes to a moral society (to a “statistically significant degree”), and while I might say I’m at least 80 percent certain this is the case, I made the statement I did because I believe it does accurately describes the actual state of things — with, say, at least a 20 percent degree of certainty.

One point Stephanie and I do seem to agree on is that autistics deserve much credit for as she puts it, “frankness” — for a tendency to be blunt and direct, to be anything but politic, to speak up and to speak out without being influenced so much by which way the wind is blowing.  This is a trait I alluded to early on in the thread as a neurologically driven resistance to groupthink, and it’s an idea Stephanie picked up and ran with, using her own experience in business classes as an example.

Thus, I would conclude, at least from my own experience, that it isn’t so much that I’m more honest or more [concerned with] justice than that other minority of students, but that I am less likely to be aware of or concerned with the social risk I’m taking by speaking up.

Stephanie and I may or may not have to come to a draw on the larger issue of whether autistics deserve credit, broadly speaking, for being more honest or having a more acute sense of justice.  But I want to suggest very strongly that the distinction she makes here is a false one, at least in terms of measuring the potential for autistics influencing the moral climate.  The reason why is something I touched on a few months ago in Are Autistics More Honest? If So, What Then?

To the extent these qualities are genuinely ours, aren’t they still to some extent unchosen, inborn, neurological nonetheless? And if so, are they really virtues, since we needn’t work as hard or exert so much willpower to maintain them? I would argue that they are virtues if only because their real-world effects are just as real in any case.

The crux of all things after all, the locus of the fire that burns them down to their essence, is the real world in which real effects occur.  So, what of the moral value of frankness, of unfiltered forthrightness, of speaking up and speaking out with little or no regard for the social risks involved?  If I were to stake you absolute parity between autistics and non-autistics in terms of moral and ethical sensitivity, if I were to grant for argument’s sake that there is no difference, what then of this distracting side-issue of frankness and its apparent (at least to Stephanie) masquerade as a “real” moral force?  If that’s all we’ve got, then what’s it worth?

Three examples from four writers:

Jeff Sharlet is an author and a contributing editor for Harpers and Rolling Stone with a knack for inhabiting and then writing about religious subcultures.  In 2005, prior to Ted Haggard’s outing as a gay, anti-gay pastor, Harpers published Sharlet’s two-part feature on Haggard’s church, “Soldiers of Christ: Inside America’s Most Powerful Megachurch.”  There was a backlash from those Sharlet had befriended and interviewed which led to him posting a meditation on betrayal on his blog.  Here are the relevant passages:

And “the media” — in this instance, me — feels betrayed by the Christians of conscience who close ranks when the press comes calling. It’s not the Ted Haggards of America who scare me. It’s the ordinary Christians, good and thoughtful people, who cringe at the power being seized in their names and yet remain silent, unwilling to challenge those who invoke Christ’s name for the sake of influence.

and later,

… there’s another order of Judas in America right now, more powerful than Ted Haggard, and certainly more powerful than Harpers. I’m thinking of the silent Christians, those who buy the stories preachers and writers tell and sell out the truth of their own consciences to subsidize them. You could call it moral tithing. Give up ten percent of what you know to be good, or right, or true, keep mum about that which you don’t know, assume the rest, and take your seat on the train bound for glory, and power.

Martin Niemöller was a Lutheran pastor and WWII concentration camp survivor.  One of the founders of a group which opposed the nazification of German Protestant churches, he is best-known for these (approximate) lines delivered in several speeches he made after the war:

In Germany they first came for the Communists,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew.

Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant.

Then they came for me —
and by that time no one was left to speak up.

Sara Robinson is a Fellow at Campaign for America’s Future who received widespread attention in 2009 and 2010 for a series of blog posts “built out of Robert Paxton’s Anatomy of Fascism — a landmark work of scholarship that lays out specific conditions and prognosis of fascism as a political form.”  In the most recent of the series, she relates that she has “been called an alarmist for even daring to use the F-word to describe the situation we’re facing.  But that’s one of the universal hallmarks of fascism:  by the time everybody finally wakes up and realizes that they’re in it, it’s usually too late to do anything about it.”  Robinson then goes on to share the words of Milton Mayer describing “his experience of this as the Nazi thrall descended in Germany:”

In the university community, in your own community, you speak privately to your colleagues, some of whom certainly feel as you do; but what do they say? They say, ‘It’s not so bad’ or ‘You’re seeing things’ or ‘You’re an alarmist.’

And you are an alarmist. You are saying that this must lead to this, and you can’t prove it. These are the beginnings, yes; but how do you know for sure when you don’t know the end, and how do you know, or even surmise, the end? On the one hand, your enemies, the law, the regime, the Party, intimidate you. On the other, your colleagues pooh-pooh you as pessimistic or even neurotic.

“And yet the day comes when it’s all too clear, Mayer writes — and on that day, it’s too late to stand up.”

Suddenly it all comes down, all at once. You see what you are, what you have done, or, more accurately, what you haven’t done (for that was all that was required of most of us: that we do nothing). You remember those early meetings of your department in the university when, if one had stood, others would have stood, perhaps, but no one stood. A small matter, a matter of hiring this man or that, and you hired this one rather than that. You remember everything now, and your heart breaks. Too late. You are compromised beyond repair.

We are seemingly a long way here from taking the measure of autism’s unsuspected presence in society.  Maybe though we are not so far from taking the measure of its absence, of its not being present enough.  Absent people who will bear the cost of practicing it, freedom of speech first becomes just pretty words, and then ashes in our mouths.  More importantly, it ceases to function as any kind of corrective to the moral ills and ethical vacuums that affect all of us in ways that can range from grindingly mundane to historically tragic.

I’ll pause here, for those who’d like a moment to revise their estimate of the likelihood that our collective conscience is carried on the backs of those who reside on and around the autism spectrum.

No takers?  Well, it’s an open invitation.

To Stephanie, who we left standing amongst her silent classmates, explaining how her willingness to speak out somehow added nothing to the credit she was due, I’d like to apologize for using a sledgehammer where a gentle tap might have done, but I do think (Godwin’s Law notwithstanding) what we’re addressing here is every bit as consequential as the examples I’ve offered.

I think too that Stephanie underestimates herself, that she deserves more credit than she gives herself — and also that if she wins the point she’s arguing for, she risks winning the battle at the expense of losing the war. Outcomes, real world effects were the subject of Gwen’s piece that started me down this road, and to the extent that an ability to speak up and out can achieve real-world results – in the aggregate if not in every instance – I think one war that’s worth winning here is the one for credit to be given where credit is due.

[image:  Norman Rockwell via Brian Moore]

related:  Fault Lines

related:  This Too Is Autism

related:  Are Autistics More Honest? If So, What Then?

related:  On My Solitary Way

on 02/11/11 in featured, Society | 10 Comments | Read More

Comments (10)


  1. Stephanie says:


    Okay, wow, when you said you were carrying over the discussion into a new post you definitely meant it! You provided a very thorough (and qualified 😉 ) response to the discussion, which I at least intend to engage in further. I apologize for not being able to respond to this as a cohesive whole. Hopefully response in parts will work.

    “I am pretty sure that Andrew was proposing that the question is properly answered from a wholly different plane, one that may not yield at all to statistical analysis, while Stephanie was staying within the realm of data sets.”

    I would agree with Andrew that the question is best addressed from a different plane of thought. You proposed “statistically significant.” Personally, I prefer to stay away from statistics-I think the premise that people and social forces can be boiled down to numbers effectively is eroneous. However, on a different plane of thought statistical significance is irrelevant. One individual can have significant impact on society, without that impact being measurable. Autistics can have a significant, positive moral influence without that influence being measurable. Furthermore, I would agree whole-heartedly if you were to say (and if you don’t, I am saying it) that autistics do have a signficant, positive moral influence.

    “The task may for instance be more a matter of dismantling social constructs that stand in the way of perception.”

    Perhaps not even that. Those I have found most influential in all meaningful areas of my life, especially in discussions of disability, are those who trigger ah-hah moments. How to describe this? Dismantling a social construct involves logic. It’s based in facts, anecdotes, opinions and observations. Your taking down old ideas and building up new ones. It’s a tedious process that involves incremental steps forwards and backwards as you push and your subject resists. Triggering an ah-hah moment skips the tedious steps-as if the thought as a whole is planted and nurtured in the brain of the subject instantaneously. You cannot have the change without both dismantlers, builders and those who trigger the ah-hah moments-those precious moments don’t always happen. But nor do you want to focus exclusively on the dismantling and rebuilding that you’re not open to giving and receiving those ah-hah moments.

    Short version: Don’t give up chasing ghosts. Once in a while you’ll catch them. (Too metaphoric?)

    “But I want to suggest very strongly that the distinction she makes here is a false one, at least in terms of measuring the potential for autistics influencing the moral climate.”

    In regards to influencing the moral climate, I would agree. Speaking up creates influence. It encourages others to speak up. It encourages action. This is all good. And I am proud of the positive influence I create.

    However, in making the statement you cited I was addressing the question of character. That’s a separate issue.

    “I think one war that’s worth winning here is the one for credit to be given where credit is due.”

    I would agree. Personally, I think credit is due for the choices we make. Either our choices are good or they are not or some combination thereof. Either our choices are motivated by self-interest or by other-interest or some combination thereof.

    If autistics are born with a greater aptitude for moral and ethical awareness, then that is not something they should be credited with. Individual autistics should be credited with how they use that aptitude. If autistics are credited with their aptitudes, then they must also be faulted for their ineptitudes. Neither is fair.

    Comparatively: I am often credited with being of greater intelligence than the general population, but why? Why am I worth more to our society because I have a higher intellectual potential? Having the potential means nothing if I do not use it. Using it means little if I do not use it to improve things for everyone, or at least for as many people as I can, but instead use it only to benefit myself. I would much, much, much rather be complimented for being a dedicated advocate who tries to change our society than for being intelligent.

    What we are born with sets us on a path. Our choices widen or narrow that path and lead us to outcomes that actually impact society. Real world outcomes are not the result of aptitudes but of choices. We should all-as individuals, not as a groups-be credited with the outcomes of our choices and the intentions we had in getting to those outcomes.

  2. I think that the most important question isn’t “What is our moral frankness worth?” but “How open are we to honesty, wherever it comes from, and making change accordingly?” That is, how open are we to receiving honesty rather than just giving it?

    To be clear, I think that honesty, especially when it comes to issues of principle and justice, has an inherent worth, regardless of outcome. That is, if something is worth speaking to and you speak to it, regardless of the consequences, that’s a moral act that can’t be diminished.

    But I agree with Stephanie that the choices we make are everything. So, the choice to speak out, despite any negative consequences, is good. But the choice to listen and to allow oneself to be open to the person speaking with honesty is even better. Sometimes, another person’s honesty can upend your sense of yourself, of other people, and of what you took to be true. It’s very difficult to hear.

    The fact is that most people (autistics and non-autistics alike) have a lot of difficulty with the kind of honesty that rocks the boat. Most people do not want the boat rocked, and yet, some of us can barely help ourselves. As Stephanie wrote in a comment to one of my posts, “I can’t help but rock the boat. The boat needs rocking.”

    I’m exactly the same way. If a boat needs rocking, I will go ahead and do it. And yet, what I find most difficult at those times is the absence of other people standing up and saying, “Yes. You’re right. Let’s discuss this! And make things better!”

    Those people are few and far between in any community, including ours. I see no evidence that autistic people do a better job in the face of boat-rocking than anyone else. Maybe we should do better, given our penchant for bluntness, but hey, we’re human, and we often don’t.

    Autism may predispose us toward better understanding of certain things, but it doesn’t predispose us to the quality of our choices. I don’t think anyone is predisposed to make good choices or bad ones. When it comes down to it, we all have free will. Why some people, similarly situated, make one choice or another is one of the great mysteries of life.

  3. Mark Stairwalt says:

    There are yet other ways in which I might not only be wrong, but also wrong-headed simply for pursuing this line of thought. And yet traffic is notably strong on this conversation; it has people’s attention. Not that I take that to mean I’m “on to something,” as folks may just as well be unable to look away from an impending train wreck.

    Not long ago, there was some charming character who toted up the financial “costs” of autism to the world, and it turned out to be (quelle surprise) a staggering sum. I think it’s a fool’s errand to play the same game, and try to get the numbers (dollars or otherwise) into the black; everyone’s worth is intrinsic.

    Is it only wrong then to pursue the question of what would be different were we to wake up tomorrow to a world without autism, not only among the diagnosed, but among the larger and arguably more consequential autistic cohort as described by Stephanie? And what of this widespread reputation for honesty and a strong sense of justice, anyway? I’m especially wondering right now whether we’ve all still tacitly or unconsciously agreed to a framing of autism as a net deficit, so that any strongly proposed positives can only, you know, rock the boat.

    Me, I’m hoping for a tomorrow with freshly installed operating systems on both my computers (not the world’s first emergency Linux-Windows double-transplant, but still a tricky operation), so I’m not sure how available I’ll be over the next 36 hours or so. Am all ears for what anyone else has to say, though.

  4. Stephanie says:


    I agree completely. Listening and changing when it is difficult and painful is even better. And it’s frustrating when people don’t speak up-or they do, but nothing changes.


    I understand your desire to defend autism and to uplift the way people see it. But, in this sense, I think the trouble is that you’re tackling the issue by playing a rigged game.

    Think about the man that calculated the cost of autism. Consider if someone were to calculate the cost of society. Imagine the cost of everything that is spent for the benefit of those perceived as normal. That number would be far more staggering than the one for autism. Another comparison, the government calculates the value of a soldier. A soldier that receives more training is more valuable than a soldier who receive minimal training. Yet, do you think those who them love them would grieve any less for the soldier who received less training? No matter how valuable that soldier is, he or she is still expendable in the service of fulfilling their function. And no matter how the government assessed their value as a soldier, it’s a person that is lost.

    My point is that whenever you put a numerical worth (whether it’s money, statistical points, or whatnot) on a human life humanity loses. Our worth is inherent, not numerical. Any calculation diminishes that worth. How do you calculate the worth of a smile, or a word, or a body in harmony? How do you calculate the worth of a human soul? How do you calculate the worth of a child damaged by abuse-what does that damage cost? The medical bills? The psychology bills? The broken heart? The wounded spirit? A little part of humanity dies every time a human life is computed.

    “I’m especially wondering right now whether we’ve all still tacitly or unconsciously agreed to a framing of autism as a net deficit, so that any strongly proposed positives can only, you know, rock the boat.”

    I do not perceive autism as a net deficit, nor do I perceive autism as a net benefit. Autism is a concept in flux. The people matter. That concept, not so much. My primary interest in the concept is that this concept affects how people are treated.

    Perhaps if we woke up and autism didn’t exist-and bi-polar and ADHD and all the other labels and concepts we use to segregate sub-sets of humanity from one another-then maybe, just maybe, everyone would realize we are all unique and valuable and have needs that can and should be met as individuals instead of as categories.

    I know that’s not what you meant. I’m well aware that “being autistic” is equated in many minds with being broken and that if our society would take a subtle shift closer (back to) eugenics then the lives and freedom of autistics and other neurodiverse individuals would be in danger. I am aware of that. However, trying to balance out the deficits with benefits doesn’t really change that.

    You are never going to come up with a list of autism benefits that justifies the existence of Alex (my non-verbal, “severely” autistic son) to people who want to numerate human value. And it’s not justice to save the higher functioning autistics and autistic cohorts by dooming those who can never measure up to your numerical values. This act-trying to justify the value of autism by showing all the wonderful things Aspies and high-functioning autistics contribute to society-is part of the reason so many parents of low-functioning autistics speak for their children and speak against the concept of neurodiversity. This attitude leaves those children (who may or may not be adults) behind.

    My son’s value is inherent in him, not in autism or attributes-like honesty-that he cannot express, because he cannot talk and too few “listen” to the ways he can communicate. This is not to say he’s not valuable. He is absolutely precious. But as long as it is a numbers game, my son will always lose.

    So, yes, I rock the boat.

  5. I agree with Stephanie. I’m very wary of discussions about what’s good about autism versus the deficit model, because they play into the whole trap of trying to prove our worth. Why should we do that? Yes, the society we live in computes human worth on the basis of innumerable factors, but when it comes down to it, the whole exercise is completely, you should pardon the expression, worthless. You can’t compute human worth. We have worth by virtue of being alive.

    So that’s one reason that I react so strongly against the idea that autism is somehow correlated with ethics. I react equally strongly against the idea that autism is somehow correlated with a lack of empathy. To my mind, both are attempting to measure human worth, and the fact that we come out looking better in one measure than another doesn’t comfort me. After all, if tomorrow, someone comes along and statistically proves that autistics do no better at moral reasoning than other people, where are we then? All we’ve got at that point is the deficit model. Better to attack the deficit model for what it is: an attempt to see human beings only for what they can’t do, rather than valuing them for who they are.

    Another reason I react so strongly against equating autism with ethics is that I’ve had some very painful experiences with other autistic people who, oh my god, turned out to be human like everyone else. And part of the reason I was so hurt is that I expected them to respond differently. We set each other up by looking at each other this way, every time.

    I’ve found exactly the same problem in Jewish community, and I’ve experienced exactly the same hurt. The myth I grew up with is that, because of our history of persecution and our moral codes developed over the course of millenia, we Jews were predisposed to act more justly than other people. And the fact is, if you look at social justice movements, you’ll find Jews involved in them all out of proportion to our numbers in the population. But that doesn’t mean that we all make great choices. There’s a spectrum of ethical behavior in our community as in any other, and while people should know better than to act in violation of their stated ethical principles, they often go right ahead and do it anyway. It isn’t right, but it’s human, and no one in any community is immune.

  6. Mark Stairwalt says:

    Have been pondering the way my unsubtle, go-big-or-go-home approach these last two weeks has brought out some of the most thoughtful attention I’ve seen applied to this question — thanks to both of you for that.

    Jay Rosen published an oddly parallel piece Sunday on the spate of articles protesting that “Twitter Can’t Topple Dictators!” Here’s how he closed:

    I want to end this with a plea for mystery. Factors are not causes. It is a mystery why uprisings occur when they do. The grievances are usuallly old ones, and yet for a very long time the population suffered them rather than overturn the system. David Hume (1711-1776) wrote about this mystery:

    “Nothing appears more surprizing to those, who consider human affairs with a philosophical eye, than the easiness with which the many are governed by the few; and the implicit submission, with which men resign their own sentiments and passions to those of their rulers. When we enquire by what means this wonder is effected, we shall find, that, as force is always on the side of the governed, the governors have nothing to support them but opinion. It is therefore, on opinion only that government is founded; and this maxim extends to the most despotic and most military governments, as well as to the most free and most popular.”

  7. Gwen McKay says:

    Mark, in reply to your last comment, I’d been thinking much the same thing about revolutions and autism both being complex and situational, thus not easily defined or dealt with by The Powers That Be.

    Look for more on that in my post this week. :)

  8. Stephanie says:


    I have encountered similar experiences in my church and among the neurodiversity community. The sense of betrayal is deep for me. I expect better, and when I don’t get it it hurts. I look at these groups and what they say they believe and think, “We can do better; we should do better.” But you’re right, we’re all human. We’re all flawed.


    While there is some mystery to it, it seems to me to be something of an elitest point of view. In order to revolt, people need to know that they can; they need to know that they have power. Yet, often they’re taught their whole lives that they cannot and they do not.

    I believe in social revolution and I believe in spreading the message that autism is not some wrong thing that must be eliminated. But, at the same time, the flash point is different. The people who have suffered are the revolutionaries, and the people in power are the majority. A very different target than a powerful minority empowered by a military with guns. The objective isn’t to overthrow the majority, but to help them see that the “us” in the greater autism cohort is really the “us” that is the part of humanity, and so are they.

  9. Diane says:

    Hello, Stephanie sent me this link, and invited me to read this discussion, and participate if I so desired. (I am her Mom). Very interesting discussion indeed! My 2 cents worth…

    In agreement with Stephanie & Rachel, may I put it in laymen’s terms - when you put someone, anyone, on a pedestal, for any reason, no matter how short (although especially true for tall ones) - they usually fall off. Pedestals are ackward, usually very narrow, and it tends to be hard to balance on them for very long.

    Although I really like the idea that autistic people may be more honest and forthright than non-autisics. Maybe they just haven’t learned how to “filter” what comes out of their mouths like so many “politically correct”, or “very polite” people have done? What they see/hear/interpret - is what you get…

    I work with a woman who also has no “filter”, not that her comments are at all “honest” or “editifying” by the stretch of anyone’s imagination… she is not autistic, just brash - but she has NO filter.

    Willy, Stephanie’s oldest, greeted me one day with, “Are you staying, Nonnie? I like your short visits best!” Willy was being honest, a bit hurtful (however unintentionally), but honest. I was taken aback by his comment, as I visit a couple times a week. Stephanie, remembered, and correctly pointed out that the last time I came for a short visit, he later ended up with a special treat. Willy related my short visit with a treat, however erroneous, and now perferred short visits from me.

    Alex, however, being non-verbal, tugs at my coat buttons and belt if I don’t take off my coat within a moment or two of coming in the door. Is he seemingly less aware of special treats, or does he just perfer my longer visits?

    But another line of thinking I have, more in line with what Mark has been saying. Psalm 139 - God knits us together in our Mother’s womb - exactly how He wants us to be. When I grasped the meaning of this truth, it helped, greatly, and was very freeing! My grandson’s, like any other autistics or any other “sub-group” in the human population, have a purpose in God’s creation and design - just like everyone else.

    God doesn’t play favorites, everyone is loved, cherished, and beheld the same, no matter what is right or wrong with them, as perceived by other people. And maybe, just maybe, God wanted some more real to goodness honesty in this world again! And maybe, just maybe, we ALL need to see everyone else how God sees each of us, loved, valued and cherished…

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