Springingtiger's Blog


Who Is My Neighbour?

This world can be a frightening and confusing place particularly when one’s social skills are impeded by autism spectrum disorders. Most people like order and certainty and this is doubly true of the autistic. Anything which threatens stability and order threatens us personally. There was a time when the world was safer, but then there was less news, less about which to be anxious.

Last night I was watching the NDTV Indian of the Year awards, celebrating twenty five years of NDTV. Just as Sri Devi was being presented with the award for Entertainer of the Year, the program was interrupted by the news from Boston. I found myself watching a news report from the USA on a news program broadcast from Delhi, I am in Scotland. Suddenly the world seemed very small and Boston, very close. “Who is my neighbour?” the prophet was asked, he responded with the tale of the Good Samaritan. More usually we think of our neighbours as those in proximity with us  like my neighbour, Mac, whose funeral was yesterday. As I watched that news report from Boston via Delhi with me in Glasgow, in between, it hit me that in our new proximity my neighbour is in Boston. We are now so close that a bomb on the other side of the world threatens all of us. When I was a child Boston was just the place where a bunch of misguided rebels destroyed a cargo of tea, sacrilege to a tea planting family, now Boston is next door, it’s people are my neighbours, and the world is a frightening and confusing place.

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