If you include an autistic person's family, autism touches the lives of over two million people every day.
April 2nd is World Autism Awareness Day and I’m taking part in RJ’s month long blog hop to promote this.
The theme of this year’s blog hop is Prejudice.
|photo credit: alles-schlumpf via photopin cc|
I have to admit that my heart fell a little when I saw that I would be expected to write on this subject. Luckily for me it is something that I never experienced, if I have been the victim of prejudice then I’ve never been ‘aware’ of this fact, or it was such a fleeting event at the time that the memory of it no longer resonates with me. Not a flicker. And no amount of dredging the deep dark recesses of my mind helped reveal any—I did find a few coins, a very sticky, fluff-covered sweet, one odd sock and a wheel off a toy car that had been thrown away years ago. Nope, that was the time I moved the sofa—anyway, no prejudice.
Of course I was thinking on too epic a scale, of words ending in ‘ism’ and great injustices. And me, even in the scheme of this blog hop, I am an insignificant thing—most of you probably skipped over my name without even seeing it—so it is no surprise that the world at large would give me nary a glance.
Prejudice - preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience; dislike, hostility, or unjust behaviour deriving from preconceived and unfounded opinions.
That is the definition of prejudice according to the oxforddictionaries.com. And the first of those definitions is something all of us have been on the receiving end of at some point and, I hasten to add, something we have all been guilty of too. You start to form opinions and beliefs about somebody from the first point one of your senses registers them. Strangers on the bus, make that a fat stranger eating a pie, first thought for most people would be ‘fat bastard get on a diet’, no matter that the stranger eats porridge every morning for breakfast, that their alarm clock hadn’t gone off and they were running late for work, that this was the first pie they had eaten in a whole year, that their weight was due to a thyroid condition… I could go on but I think I’ve made my point, the person is a stranger to you, you know nothing about them so how can you make any sort of judgement.
How many times have you put a face to the voice of someone you’ve only ever spoken to on the phone only to meet them in person and have your ‘preconceived opinion’ altered by the reality. On the internet it can appear to be even worse often with nothing to go on but a person’s words, but here is where you would probably get the best chance of finding out my true self without the rest of your senses bringing to bear.
You can’t judge me on my race or sex, my height or my hair colour because in all fairness you don’t know. You can judge me on the fact that I am an author of m/m romance—and many out there do—without even picking up a copy of my books, or even one of my more esteemed colleagues tomes. The books are there for all to see, they are fact. You may make a judgement based on that fact and your own misguided perceptions, and that would take you into the second category
You are reading my words, they are integral to me and show a part of me that anyone looking from the outside in will never see, unless they too chose to read my words. Even if every word I have ever written on the internet is untrue that will reveal something about me, that I’m a liar. Every word we write exposes something about us whether we want to or not; that comment posted in the heat of debate might not completely reflect our true opinion but it shows that sometimes we are quick to anger without giving the issues due care and attention.
The process of putting words down on paper might come from the brain, but I’m a great believer that the words themselves, they come from the heart.
If you would like to read some of my words—and yes, I do feel I put my heart and soul into my stories, which is why you only get one a year—then leave a comment below to win a book from my backlist (excluding the anthology because that isn’t mine to give).
See who else is taking part in the blog hop by stopping over at RJ's blog.