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Plural Manifesto: You Don't Get to Define Us Anymore

by The Crisses

You look at yourselves and see only one way to be. It can't be any other way, you say.

But we are here, living proof that you're wrong.

For decades, you and your colleagues have told us that we're impossible. That we need to capitulate to the only way you can see to be. A singlet. Which is funny, because you haven't scientifically defined or observed consciousness or what it really means to be a "person" but continually insist that we're only one of these things you can't run a lab test for, or find under a microscope.

You experience your consciousness in one limited way and then apply those same limits to us.

We've had enough.

You write books for us. You create therapies for us. You write guidelines for us. You create developmental theories for us. But what you never did was really listen to us. You didn't really ask us. You didn't really wait for us to tell you whether you were right or wrong.

Thank you. Sometimes it's been helpful. Sometimes. But you may stop now.

We don't want your patronizing and holier-than-thou, no-scientific-basis perspectives and developmental theories applied to our experiences any longer. You don't need to humor us, we will humor ourselves. If you wish to treat us, then treat us as equals not subjects in the experiments you perform on us. If you wish to work with us, then you can no longer dictate that we become more like you in order to be whole or healthy.

We're already whole. And many of us are healthy. Those who need help need the right type of help.

Some may want to see things your way, given this is a world full of singlets and they may want to fit in. That's their perogative. We want to change the world into one where plurals fit in as well. Where it's not a case of "my way or the highway" but a chance for a meeting of the many-minded to decide on new directions of thought for humanity.

How better to understand the external discourse than to look inside at our myriad voices and multiple perspectives and shine a light on the world on how to work together, to work as one, to give humanity one solid direction and one unified voice in spite of, and in harmony with, the vastly differing voices? Echoed from within a mind of hundreds or thousands.

You waste the time of future potential leaders in trying to make us more like you. You stifle the unique voices of an author, a playwrite, a director. You steal the perspectives from a cop who can process many scenarios at once. The doctor who can run through options and outcomes and come up with ideas that are sound and have already been thought through by several qualified physicians all residing in one beautiful multifaceted brain.

Are you afraid that we'll be better at your job than you are? That will only be true if you continue to deny that we exist, and that we are different, and we're pretty freaking normal overall except until now we have needed to be given permission to allow our various voices to express themselves.

We will be silent no longer. We will take it from here, unless you work with us. We will teach ourselves to work together and think and brainstorm as a whole, to help each other inside and out with our unique perspectives and talents and act as if perhaps there's much more to a person than just one brain and one set of hands and eyes. Sit down and listen to us. Or you'll be left behind.

Old men sit in rooms and ponder our future. Write books that tell us we're "just" parts and that our ONLY healthy and inevitable outcome is to merge into one person.

News flash: you don't get to define us anymore.

Your choice: Ignore us, and we'll surprise you. Join us, and we'll amaze you.

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