Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Update From the Wolf Den: Peace, or Power?

Someday I'm going to write down all the little gems of wisdom from the various assorted people who come into my life. It should be quite a volumnous sort of creation and will for sure provide needed energy to a brain-tired mom.

Yesterday was Wolf's monthly care plan review, during which time all the staff involved in his care sit in a conference room, me on speakerphone, Wolf at the head of the table, and discuss every aspect of Wolf's life.

Nutrition, education, medication, behavior, recreational activities, social skills; it's all there, transparent and ripe for the picking. Wolf, understandably, hates these meetings, mostly because he is required to be a participant and talk at length about all of the above. He also hates them, however, because there is no room for argument.

His therapist, B. jokes that in the dictionary, next to the word 'argue', is a full-color photograph of Guess Who. Yep, the boy does love to debate. Perhaps we should turn him loose at a rally for healthcare and we'll see who is still standing at the end of the day...

Interestingly enough, his ability to argue has little do to with the reason he finds it necessary to pursue someone until the must turn their back or run screaming the other direction. He wants desperately to be right, when so much is wrong.

At our early morning meeting today, B. was searching his mind for a phrase that would give Wolf some 'thinking time' before retorting back with some obnoxious comment and getting his teeth knocked out. He found a winner. "Peace, or Power?"

Wolf wants power over people because he has so little over himself. He feels better when he wins an argument, it provides him with power. And to a kid with Asperger's, power over something, even that which to us might seem innane, is everything.

But, as B. pointed out, gaining power over someone by incessently pushing viewpoints in their face will only succeed in losing friends and influence among other people. And creating peace; agreeing to disagree and feeling the calm that comes from knowing one accomplished it without blows or bellows, can be far more powerful.

I wonder if the individuals shouting insults and hateful comments on street corners, all for the sake of trying to change others' minds, know of the Peace or Power Principle? Perhaps we could all do with a look inward today...

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