Good question Steph. I assumed Jonathan meant the cultural elite, like professors and prominent personalities (e.g. Sam Harris?), but if he meant the power elite then we're even more screwed.
I think I pretty much agree with you but, having thought about this problem for as long as I can remember, I see this as much a political problem as a cultural problem. Certainly it would help things if the government were on our side, but I also think that without a concerted effort to educate the masses, atheism hasn't got much of a chance in the foreseeable future of uprooting religion, especially in those under-educated, backwoods, backwards, deep South, Bible Belt places where people take so much pride in being so monstrously wrong in all the ways that matter.
Oregon eh? I loved Eugene when I was there once, beautiful, just beautiful. I've always wanted to go back. One glorious day I hope...
Hey no fair, I wanna come too! :-)
Let's all go! It would be a fun meet-up!
Twould indeed. In my mind our travel plans are all set. But if I could will the world to be the way I imagine it to be, the world would be much different!
Jonathan, I like reading your narratives; you compose clearly and in almost a visually evocative manner. Being "different" because of blindness reflects badly on willingness of others to "walk in your shoes" with compassion. Your clear understanding of your introversion and reflective nature speak well of your character, and finding ways to develop your coping strategies. The fact that you played ball, rode bikes, and participated in other active sports presents challenges to sighted little boys and imagining you taking off on a spin, or playing basket ball amazes me.
Who were the greatest influences in your life for positive attitudes and assistance in in trying such risky things?
I believe children faced with challenges of any kind need people to encourage and inspire them, even as they observe carefully to see that children are safe. Out-of-control kids I worked with had a far better chance in life if they had a "cookie person", someone who cared about them and took an interest in them.
Thank you, Jonathan, for your inspiring story and you present food for thought for those who have challenges of their own, regardless of what they might be. You also bring to attention the need of others to participate with trying new and different things. Peer support, of course, is important, and always adult support helps reduce the negative impacts of being different.
And when we come right down to the basics, you reveal that we are all in need of each other.