Welcome to Perspectives, a blog of thoughts, commentary and observations ranging from autistic adolescents to intimate portraits of urban communities.


“He was lost and is found”

I have had a good life. Whether it has been a useful one is for others to decide. But of the value of four gifts – five, really – bestowed both on me and from me I have no doubt. My life changed completely from the moment my children – Gayley, Jake, Annie and Daniel (and little Joanie, Jan. 3-5, 1979, who struggled mightily for her whole short life) – appeared. They are the legacy I will leave. So, I bristle when I see a father pilloried by mean and ignorant people because he loves his child. Bob Bergdahl grew a beard and learned to speak Pashto during the five years his son was held captive by the Taliban. It’s OK, apparently, not to shave before the big game or until you have achieved some personal milestone, but not in solidarity with your son, who, by the way, speaks only Pashto now.

“He has learned to speak the language of the Taliban and looks like a Muslim,” said Bill O’Reilly, “actually thanking Allah right in front of the president.”

"If he wasn't so light-skinned, he actually looks like the terrorists,” echoed grammatically challenged radio host Laura Ingraham. (Actually, if he were any lighter-skinned he’d look like Timothy McVeigh.)

“Your son's out now,” said Fox and Friends’ Brian Kilmeade. “Are you out of razors?"

What began as a celebration of a son’s return turned quickly into a nightmare. It’s an old story, first told by a bearded man in the Gospel of Luke.

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