Try Points

I was in some class in college, years ago, goofing off or any number of things other than listening to the lecture and a student asked a very humorous question.  They were concerned about their grade, as it was the end of semester and they began a somewhat heated exchange with the with the professor.

Certainly our effort means something for our grade.  Will you give us “try points” to put us over the edge if we are close to achieving a certain grade?

No, your effort is rewarded through your results and aptitude.  There are rarely “try points” in life.

The professor was true to their word.  An 89.9% was always going to be a B when they went to hand out grades.  I do think that the professor may have underestimated the value of effort in everyday life, but there are many arenas in which their words ring quite true.

Sociopaths are capable of restraint and have free will.  The incentives to eschew our natural state may be varied, but ultimately we are the masters of our destinies.   Society will always consider the crime of passion as potentially acceptable, but never the crime committed by those with a wiring different than their own.  The autistic person who tries to fit in will get a pass on atypical behavior and interactions, whereas the sociopath, giving the same effort, will not.  The stigma associated with the condition renders all efforts on our part as null and void.  We are pariahs and we are abhorred.  “Try points” do not exist for the sociopath.

I have only been to jail once (for the briefest of time and I was never convicted of any crime), I walk a more pro-social path these days, and I try desperately to give the attention that others need when they reach out for empathy.  What more can I give?   What effort would be sufficient to shift the focus from my natural and hardwired state to the choices that I make in order to stay in the good graces of society?  Why are my efforts never enough?

No, there are many areas in which effort means as much as results.  When it comes to human interactions, only the neurotypical receives such commendations for effort, however.  Instead of hoping that “try points” will put us into society’s good graces, we must stay in the shadows.  No amount of restraint or free will shall ever remove the fact that we are not considered human by so many.  Paradoxically, this means that the effort we must give must far exceed those of many.  We must amass effort worthy of all the “try points” and never see any of the reward.


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