Thursday, July 14, 2011

Home Schooling - The Soul Deadening Poison Of Pessimism

Song:   Echoes

Group:   Pink Floyd

I had written about Optimism and touched upon Pessimism here:

I was once on a Psychology Forum about a year ago.

One of the categories I had participated in was 
the Asperger's Syndrome Forum.

I was fairly new to the group and although
I had been reading many posts by others...
and had posted a fair number replies on other threads...
I was, at that time, a relatively new person to them.

My post was the post I had used in my previous article
on the Aspergian Guitarist...David Evans.

I had started a thread (a discussion on a particular topic).
My intent was to stimulate the drive for achievement
in, what I had found to be, quite a pessimistic group 
of participants in other discussions.

I had wanted to give an emulatable example of a person
who, through his efforts, had conquered depression...
who, having the same condition as the others on the Forum...
 had made a future for himself.

Through my edited post and their replies
(too long in original form - context is preserved)...
I wish to demonstrate to you...
 a real life example of Pessimism
and of some people who refuse to improve their situation...
regardless of the evidence before them...
merely blaming society...
anyone or anything...
except themselves.

The replies to my post were unexpected...
I thought many would have wanted to know more about David Evans...
how he had pulled himself out of the depths of depression
and on to a beautiful life.

As you read the replies...
always remember to never let the...
black hole...
 that is Pessimism...
to infect your child's soul.

These particular people wanted not
a guiding principle...
positive examples to follow.

What they wished for was the titillation
of their emotions.

They were looking for permission to fail...
as they had already found it easy to give up
and wallow in self pity...
they were looking for support of their chosen lifestyle.

My original thread (post)...
minus the forum names of those giving replies...

My Original post:

This is a great story of an Aspie who found his passion and is working toward a career at it.

It is off a thread from WP from his mom...a must example to follow:

Hiya everyone, I am a bit of a proud mum today!! Scuse the cheese and the bias! But my son, David had no friends 3yrs ago, he was lonely and depressed, nothing to look forward to....until he picked up the guitar and we discovered he was a Savant......or savant tendencies anyway, I will let you be the judge....

Last night he had his first radio airing....Pirate FM here in Cornwall UK, loved this version of Purple Rain so much that they aired it!! It was amazing and I cried......

We have worked so hard on David using our own methods and since then he has grown and bloomed into a confident, self aware happy teenager. He has only been playing for 2yrs (just!), self taught and he practices 12hrs a day weekends and 5hrs after school. He lives for the guitar, it is the way he expresses his emotions is as important to him as the oxygen he breathes.

And posted from his mother a little while later: He has just met Slash!! Marshall Amplification have adopted him into the Marshall family and now he is playing at a charity event in a few weeks.

David Evans

Just look at the happiness in his face :!: :!: :!: :D

The following contains replies to my post...
and of my replies to their replies.

A reply to my post 
(he is also referring to some previous posts of mine
where he felt I was too optimistic):


His reply:

Well, this is a rather odd case.

Like you said, you like to PLAN, not have luck. This seems like plain luck to me. 
Even though I do not believe in luck. 
He happened to like something that was socially acceptable 
and also has a possibility for revenue.

What if your son grows up and wants to become a pro-gamer (not programmer). 
What if he wants to become a janitor? 
What if he starts getting massively interested in the ideas Adolf Hitler propagated?

Will you just as easily support him when his interests come cross
 to your own or the society in general? 
Sure you can get "lucky" (although I am already fearing you are planning for him),
 for him to have a healthy interest. 
When I was younger, my interest was programming/software development/gaming.
 Back then (20 years ago) this was a no-no. 
Had it been today, probably very different.

I would not go as far as to say I'm a savant at programming, far from the truth, but due to my ability to singly focus on my interests, I was able to learn programming from 3 books about MS-DOS, GW-BASIC and EPSON 85 (?) Printer manual. All in English.

Am I successful in my own eyes? Yeah, quite. I feel I can master anything I want within this field rather quickly. Am I successful in the eyes of society? No. I'm 32 and still unemployed. Never worked a day in my life.


My reply:

Ah...but I think you can be highly more than your own eyes. You are obviously highly intelligent. Why not pursue the programming? You can be an independent contractor. Two out of three of my nephews are working for themselves as risk analysts and they are only in their young 20s and are independently wealthy. My other nephew works from home every day. He is an IT administrator. He makes good money working from home...never having to deal with people...just handling computer issues from the comfort from his house on his computer.

You can pursue a computer related field and work from home also. You could do what you love...make good money...from the comfort of your home. Turn your life around through your efforts. Teach yourself through more research and study. You have the capability to create your own position and be your own boss.

My interest in my son is for him to chase his passions in long as he can take care of himself and his future family (should he wish to be a father), to hopefully incorporate the passion in his job...and to live life fully. His job is his choice...any one of the following three...research am joking :)

We are planning for his happiness. We are giving him his full options so he may choose...not have his choices limited by non-preparation.

By the way....12 hrs a day of practice (5 hrs. after school) is not luck. It is unrelentingly chasing his passion.


His reply:

Yes, I have found the thing I love doing. The problem is that society does not agree. Does it start to dawn upon you the real root of the issues I have with your optimism spewing?

Take a step back, and try to realize how patronizing you sound to people who have lived with AS for their entire life, dealt with it every day, had lots of people try to help them, living with the angst, the uncertainty, the inability to be properly understood. You come in here riding on your white horse, trying to tell everyone, ITS REALLY SIMPLE, JUST FOLLOW THIS RECIPE. Sorry. Your son has barely had AS. He's what? 12-13? And most of those early years AS doesn't really mean much. Also you got the diagnosis early. So at best you have had to deal with AS for 10 years. And its not even you who has AS.

And he is yet to pass into one of the hardest time for people with AS, the teenage years. When I was younger, noone even thought I had any issues, as I was able to have and keep friends without problems. I kept most of my friends through my teenage years. Then it went for the worse.

So unless you want us to start really discrediting you, you should stop discrediting us. Start learning from us instead of telling us about your success by proxy stories. We're the real deal. These odd out stories here, are not the mainstream. Deal with it.


My reply:

You may very well have a valid point. My son is only 9 yrs. old. He had early intervention (3 yrs. old). He is doing very well. The example I had given you was a teenager though.

I am unclear as to what you are referring when you say that your passion is something that society disagrees with.

So far as discrediting You... I don't know. I am talking to all those who may be helped by the advice.

I cannot be discredited...the work on my son...through ABA and my wife's unrelenting efforts, is fact. Now, it is true he has not gone through puberty yet. It is also true you have not read my blog on him or our efforts.

Simple application is the difficult part. I wish to encourage those that choose to take that very difficult journey. To give them the ray of true that they can realize. My son was diagnosed as fully Autistic...that is why he was given a full 35-40 hrs. a week in home ABA therapy...fully paid by our state. It is just within the past few years that we think he is an Aspie since his achievements are profound in some aspects.

I have had contact with other Aspies through our son's therapy (didn't know it then). They are also advancing very well. My hope is that the young could greatly benefit by educating the parents. Some have appreciated this advice and encouragement. You are but one of two that seem to be quite disgruntled by my helpful advice...that makes you the odd one. I shall continue to encourage those who wish shall not censure me...Please try your best to discredit will be invalid.

My stories are not by proxy...they are direct cause and effect by observed empirical evidence. We are the ones living the advice I am "spewing"...I am advising about how to help an Aspie as given to my Aspie son. We are the ones directly controlling and observing the greatly positive therapy and the effects of which I speak.

Now is this helpful to you? That is up to you. Helpful to others? That is up to them....not you.


His reply:

Staying inside. Doing things on computer. Not wanting to go out among people to be bored. Preferring to be up at night to do programming because you are less interrupted then. Starting to dawn? No? Well, too bad. You are not trying.

I have read your blog. It does not tell me anything new. It all contained common knowledge for parents ... WHO GETS AN EARLY DIAGNOSIS. Well planned.

Also do realize that many people on these boards do not come from the Americas. So entirely different concepts apply to therapy and who pays it. I'm not even sure if you realize how lucky (not planned) you are. I'm actually baffled at the ignorance.

I do not mind your "helpful" advice. But when you come in here. Ask questions. And then proceed to make "helpful" advice. To people who do not ask for it. Not only that, but mostly irrelevant "helpful" advice, like being optimistic, and go be "successful" for ?society?. wat? (I'm not even sure you still get this concept.

And yes, your stories are by proxy. You are not the one with AS. The stories are not told by the ones with AS. As long as you are not the one with AS, its by proxy. But I'm still glad your controlled planning works out for your son. Hopefully when he's older he will agree.


My reply:

The advice I give is working for him. The efforts are ours. The advice I am giving is the same as the therapy that is helping our son. The same advice that I give him, I give here. I am not speaking as an Aspie...never have...I am speaking as the one applying the same message I am giving. The realized effect is seen through him ...the Aspie. If I were to speak as if I were the Aspie being helped...that would be by proxy. He is not the one giving the therapy and seeing the effect. It IS by direct empirical evidence of that therapy that I speak of.

Had you read all 23 would have known his age...the fact that he was initially diagnosed as Autistic...etc.

Oh...I do fully realize how incredibly lucky we are. Just to have such a beautiful that loves so filled with morals and a just have had the incredible therapy....I fully know. In my blog...I go through the essence of the therapy for all the others who are not nearly so fortunate. My wife also has a blog in Japanese for those in Japan who have no such therapy available to them. My blog is to help those parents who also don't have the therapy...especially for the ones where the mother can be a stay at home mom...she can use the same therapy at home. Most of the help we received was in OUR consistent application of the therapy when they left for the day...and when they stopped the therapy long ago. It has great relevance for many.

It is also for those Aspies who don't realize their talents. The ones who concentrate on their perceived deficits instead of their strengths.

I do thank you for your sincere happiness for my son's future. I do not wish to be your enemy...I really think that you have unrealized potential. I also stay inside a lot...Even on my off days...I stay up all night. I don't know all that you go through. However, you are like my are an Aspie...I really want the best for you...I won't try to tell you how to live your life...but I know you have potential you have not fully realized. My last direct advice...You are too down on are better than you think. an Aspie... have the great talent of focus. Use it to your won't let interpersonal distractions throw you off your mark. You can devote yourself wholly to your interest. That is a drive that most don't have. It is a trait of all great men. I will leave it at that. I do hope the best for deserve happiness.


Another poster and his reply:

I have to side with the AS group on this. It's one thing to understand from early onset what is happening. I made it through childhood okay. I struggled, and am still struggling every day of my adult life. I'm like others. I can code 15 different langauges, build a computer with my eyes closed. I used to work in direct support for WSMR, NASA, Raytheon, and DoD contracts. I'm entirely self taught also. Learned on my old TI-99/4a how to do BASIC, and the precursors to Ansi C and ASM. I can't hold a job, I'm nocturnal, I have breakdowns, severe social phobias, paranoia... I can't read people, or gather their intentions in relation to me. The world has become a very dangerous place for me. Wait until he get's a run in with a police officer and he can't make eye contact, starts shaking from anxiety like someone going through withdrawal and watch how fast he end up in handcuffs.

I have to say it... Shiroi Tora your advice reads like a fortune cookie. You're in corrections... how many people are mentally ill that you deal with at your job? I study criminology. 70+% of inmate population is mentally ill. I support what you're trying to do for your son. But you're claiming success where there hasn't been any yet. He hasn't grown up and tried to face the world. It's a well known fact, more of us will fail than will succeed. I had Astro-physicist friends with AS symptoms, and they couldn't work for more than a day or two without having to spend the rest of the week recovering. They still lived with their parents, and couldn't drive, couldn't manage money... being taken advatange of. Your son with AS has a permanent target painted on his back. Every day of his life will go something like this... I don't know what you're upto, I'm going to trust that you're like me, and quickly he's going to be lead astray. Don't delude yourself thinking you're preparing him for life. You are helping him with his tribulations now, is not a guarantee he's going to succeed. No matter how much you plan. There is a lot of luck. It's not what you know, it's who you know. What about cooking? Special dietary needs? 70-80% of Autism related disorders have intestinal problems.

If his AS is at this level he probably has a hard time with comprehension on all levels. Just because he has a photographic memory, and can regurgitate information, it doesn't mean he fully comprehends it. Watch the movie Rainman... or Adam. They're not perfect films, but they might help puts things a bit more into perspective.

I have an IQ of 152, I'm on welfare... 2 criminal convictions... labelled a terrorist by the US Government that I used to work for. Several warrants for my arrest, every relationship I've ever been in has failed miserably. I'm on probation for 2 years for assault because I had a full-blown breakdown while being taken advatage of and abused by someone, both times that I thought loved me. I'm 34 and living back home with my parents. On a fast track to knowhere, so fed up with society... I don't even want to leave my room. And I agree, fully... money is the root of all evils. I have one friend... and most of my days lately are lived through this forum while I struggle to get back what's left of a life I don't have. I think your measure of success is terribly flawed.

You claim to adhere to scientific process. You have proposed a theory, that your son based on the planning you are doing for him will give him success in life. His life has not been lived. Therefore, your theory has not been proven or disproven. You cannot tote that he is a success, because you planned his success. It's not a life lived yet. There's a flaw in your logic.

More power to your support and all the progress you're making with your son. I'm still fighting for a proper diagnosis. Not all of us have been as lucky as you think your son is in all your planning. Don't be surprised when you realize that all that planning has gone horribly wrong. Or that you will have to continue to plan the rest of his living days, because he's unable to make up his own mind for direction because you've planned everyday for him.

It's great you have pride for his accomplishments... but the AS people here... and elsewhere, are more likely the reality for your son. That's a fact. I'm not trying to burst your bubble, just bring you back down to reality.


My reply:

Like a fortune cookie? My advice is sweet and crunchy??? :wink: Sorry....bad joke.

I've been working Corrections for over 22 yrs. now. I worked for 3 yrs. in the Acute and Sub Acute Psychiatric Wards and in every other position the rest of my yrs. My University degree is in Criminology (major) and my minor was Psychology. I don't know about where you are inmate population is definitely not 70% mentally ill. Nowhere near...most are substance abusers along with their other crimes. In this day and age...there are so many claims of mental illness for every excuse people can come up with. It is these that statisticians love to quote. If a person does extremely selfish acts (robs...steals) god...he is a sociopath...that is a mental illness. If they use drugs...they are self medicating...because of deep psychological issues...they are mentally ill...etc. No...although many inmates are mentally is more on the order of 10%. Most are not so ill as to not be able to function in society in some capacity... more mentally handicapped individuals don't commit crimes ...many...many more than do.

My reference is from my knowledge of Statistics, Psychology, Criminology...etc...and most importantly...extensive direct experience.

I work a 12 hr. shift. In most areas, the Officer is locked in a dorm with up to 90 inmates. He has no weapon other than Pepper spray...his wits and his fists...and a radio. The inmates are let out into 1 large common area. The Officer walks among them. There is nothing to separate the Officer from the inmates. There is no gun tower or guns at all. The Officer must manage them...keep them from hurting themselves or others...etc. In one of my dorms...out of 65 inmates...23 of them were in for murder. Other dorms are filled with nothing but gang members. I've run the gamut of human selfishness, depravity...pure evil. Most would have not been in there had they had much better parenting. They had gotten on a negative spiral early on. They sought out short term pleasure instead of long term gains. What many lack is deferred gratification.

There was a study done some time ago. They had taken 4 yr. olds and had placed them in a room alone with 1 marshmallow on a plate. They were told that if they waited 10 min. without eating it...they would get 2 marshmallows to eat. They tracked them for many years. They found the children who had waited had been far more successful in life. They had set a goal and had stuck to it (my advice).

I had told myself, as a child, that I would never...ever work in this line of work. I have hated many a night on the is not my passion (I pursue my passions off duty). I did it because it pays very well...has excellent benefits. It allowed me to achieve one of my goals...having a family and providing them a good life. Did I feel burned out sometimes...hate being there at times...have my heart scream out to move on to a different job...even at much lower pay? Yes. I didn't leave because this job allowed me to do for my, then, future family. It allows early retirement (I retire in 1 yr)...high salary...and a high percentage of that salary for the rest of my life. I had set a goal and had stuck to it. I turned lemons into lemonade. I made myself enjoy whatever aspects of the job I could. I am so glad now that I had stuck it out. It was worth it. I will be able to fully pursue my passions for the rest of my life. I have been chasing my passions on my off time and I will soon be able to all the time. I am only 50 yrs. old. I did it because I didn't take that marshmallow. I did not quit...I saw the long term picture...plotted my course...sailed true.

Don't delude myself in thinking I am preparing him for life? To not to almost certainly fail.

My son is not merely regurgitating information. My wife has been working with him, from his initial diagnosis, on comprehension. He scored extremely high...not merely on IQ...but across the board on performance tests as a result.

By the is not... money is the root of all is...the LOVE of money is the root of all evil. Money is the crystallization of a portion of your life devoted to earning it. It is a barter of time and effort for wants and needs elsewhere. It is important as it will allow the basis for health and happiness. If you are familiar with Maslow's Hierarchy of will understand.

It is not my is not even a is an ongoing experiment...a hypothesis I would say. Now, let me get this are failing at so many things in life that you hate and fear it. My son is extremely happy, achieving things because he loves to...we are loving life on the terms we set out to live plan. You say my advice holds NO credence because? And your advice DOES hold credence because? ...and MY logic is flawed?

Life is not a guarantee. We must be adaptable while not abandoning the overall plan. We are not planning out his life. We ARE opening up all his future options so HE may decide what he wishes to do....not have his choices limited by a lack of planning. I am touting his climb up from where he was...and to where he is heading. My job as a father is to prepare him to swim in the sea of life. I am having him learn the basic floating and survival hold his breath and submerge....what I am preparing him to do is to eventually freestyle and perhaps high dive....eventually to swim off on his own...and to be able to teach his children how to swim. You don't teach a child to swim by throwing him in the deep end with no planned course of swimming knowledge.

Burst my bubble??? You still do not understand....reality is what you make it through applied intelligence, seeing the course through no matter not QUITTING what you MUST do and eventually what you really wish to do. You cannot achieve your dreams if you stop dreaming...if you stop before reaching your goals....if you don't even plan your goals. THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT SEPARATES THE CRIMINALS FROM THE REST OF SOCIETY. Don't you realize...this is what you are preaching?

Your main fault is you have become pessimistic in life. You have incorporated a defeatist attitude. You can turn it around at any point...AT ANY POINT...It is all your choice. Portion by small digestible portion. You will be able to digest ever growing is then that you shall realize the path is the correct one.

Don't tell me of crippling fear...I have been in many instances in life where I was almost petrified from fear. I did not quit. I knew that to get in the habit of quitting (short term relief from pain - long term suffering) is to quit life itself. You end up running from all the great beauty and pleasures in life because of your fear of the pain. You need to re-read my blog article on the Positive Spiral / Negative Spiral. Read..digest...think...look back...look now...look forward.

I had many neurological problems as a child. My gross motor coordination was so off I couldn't run straight. I had so many years of verbal and physical tics...obsessive behaviors....wetting the bed until puberty...terrible fine motor coordination....terrible grades.........I DID NOT QUIT...because I held on to my dreams...planned and held to them. I was very shy and awkward. I still don't have any friends outside of work. I have my family...more than enough. I stay up all night on my off days. I don't go out much...all by choice...not because I feel I can not do otherwise.

I overcame many of my deficits through sports...on to Combative Sports....Active Army (Light Infantry /Recon Platoon)...Corrections...all the while maintaining physical training on my own and through training halls. I've also had to become the Alpha Male in the dorms filled with murderers, and many times, grapple with criminals on the job. I had many...many fights (I averaged 1 a year) until I was 22 yrs. old (I left the army at 21). I was so scared most of my fights as I was ALWAYS at some physical disadvantage (bully larger almost every time). I fought out of self defense and in the defense of others. I never backed down...I never quit...I won all of my fights....except my first one. That first one (3rd grade) I was trying to bargain my way out...he hit me so hard in my stomach...I went home crying...but with a firm conviction in my heart that I would never cower the result of doing so was so very painful...the psychological pain of cowardice being the most painful of all. I knew I would feel fear in the future...but I also knew I couldn't give in to it. In the Army...there were so many times I felt sick with fear...but I already knew I wouldn't quit. With each successful obstacle conquered...the next became easier....I looked forward to the next. With each success, I saw more and more of the beauty of life. When you love yourself...everything in life becomes beautiful. You lose the fear of failure...because you know that quitting is not an will try your best...and whatever comes..shall come.

My Philosophy is not borne of our experience with our son - only the parenting advice. It is borne of my experience in life...the life I consciously chose to live with a brave I know life shall not reward the cowering one. Life is for those who choose to live it. For those who realize that the obstacles are opportunities for conquering your fears so life's beauty can be fully realized by you. Stress is no longer a factor in your decision making...just the rewards.

I've seen many who are at a much greater mental disadvantage than any of you. Many who had a combination of physical and mental disadvantages more extreme than you....I've seen them achieve...and they were happy...I saw it in their walk... in their smiles. They are the ones that dared dream... that never quit...and they were the ones who couldn't understand those who had more...yet complained...and did nothing to change their situation.

You are smart...but as of yet...inexperienced in life. Don't tell me of fear...I have experienced far more of it...and won. You can also.

None of you should ever let anyone tell you that you can not do anything you really wish to do.

It may take longer for you to achieve it...but that is alright....the journey is a beautiful one.


I never followed up on these people.

Some people private messaged me...
they thought I was hurting too many person's feelings.

I bowed out and moved on to other forums.

All this came from a positive message.

A pessimist hopes for the worst to confirm
his view of the world.

To have a brighter view...
a realistic view

(in the industrialized nations...
we have the power within us
to create our own reality
through our applied intelligence and efforts)...

is to say to them that they are not only wrong...
it is to say that they are on the wrong path in life...
and that they are, in essence...
 wasting their one and only shot at it.

Without the vision of better things...
a better way of life within their grasp...
a child has no hope.

Pessimism's real evil lies in that...
the robbing of hopes and dreams.

Living life is a choice...
be sure you give your child that choice...
 through Optimism.


  1. You are a living example of your philosophy.

    I don't think I would have had the patience to respond to those naysayers the way you did. And I try to avoid the pessimists as they bring me down. It is to your credit that you had the strength of your convictions to stand up to them.

  2. I have met many pessimists in my life. I generally move right along...they hate life...and those who wish to excel in it. A temporary pessimist (a misled soul who is running from life due to fear), I try to help. So long as they really try...I don't mind. When they would rather fight me than change...I reluctantly move on.

    I really don't understand it. With all the evidence before them of people succeeding...they pretend that their efforts had nothing to do with it.


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