As a psychologist attending meetings with many people who are environmental activists here at the Mountain Film Festival, it was interesting to hear M. Sanjayan (lead scientist for the Nature Conservancy) talk about biodiversity but noting that we "must include the person in the equation." He talked about the extinction crisis and the tendency to wait until it's late to try to save various species of animals.
Sanjayan mentioned the influence that E.O. Wilson's concept of Biodiversity had on his thinking which had me thinking about my work in Autism and my emphasis on Neurodiversity. No one at today's meeting would disagree that maintaining biodiversity is the key to survival...but what about neurodiversity...or the idea that human beings are each neurologically distinct? Those of us working the Autism field understand this and the importance of appreciating how different brains can be from person to person. And, the more we understand this neurological diversity, the more we appreciate the importance of having "lots of different types of brains" working on lots of different types of problems. Of course what gets in the way of appreciating and working with all these different types of brains? Well, humans of course!
More on this later, but I'm thinking that an appreciation for neurodiversity is a precursor to preserving biodiversity. As Carl Jung said, "Know thyself." Until we appreciate both our own brains and differences among us in how we perceive and think about the world, how can we begin to really work on saving it?
Of course maybe it's just the scarcity of oxygen in this town (the morning symposium was held at High Camp at over 12,000 feet) that's making me (gasp) think such thoughts!