We live in a crazy world. For so many of us these times are tough times. I know people right now who have lost their home, lost their jobs, have a child who is dying, have a marriage that is failing, are diagnosed with breast cancer and the list goes on. My god, it is overwhelming. I think to myself everyday that I must have compassion, I must have empathy. Why do I do this? I do this because all of these people deserve it. I believe everybody deserves compassion, I do it sometimes even for those that we think are unworthy. Again, some of you may ask why? Here is the nitty gritty of it all. I want others to have compassion for me and compassion for my son.
If you want to see change, then you have to be the change!
I was recently told a story by a friend of mine about his little brother who has Aspergers' Syndrome. Everyday when his little brother goes to school the kids say to him, "What's up Forrest Gump," "Hey Forrest Gump," and then the other slurs begin. I cried when I heard this. I thought to myself are you serious, how could this be in 2011 that our children could have such little empathy and compassion for each other. Well, here is the bottom line, THEY LEARNED IT AT HOME. We have got to start teaching our children young about how to feel for others, how to care for others, and how to really see people for who they are and not what they "can" and "cannot do!"
As the mother of a child who has special needs I am always baffled by the lack of compassion in the world. Often times it is even those who are closest to us who have the least amount of empathy for our situations. As the parent of a child with special needs I spend everyday just trying to get through the day. No, seriously let me repeat myself. I spend everyday just trying to get through the day. It is tough when you have a child with special needs or any medical condition.
Okay, so where am I going with all of this...what is the purpose of this entry...
What can you do?
Compassion and Empathy can make such a difference in the life of a person with special needs or the parent of a child with special needs. When you are out at the store and you see a mom struggling, and you see the child in the midst of a crisis, PLEASE DON'T JUDGE!!!! You know what you can do, is reach out. HAVE COMPASSION. Instead of mumbling to yourself, "oh that kid is such a brat" why not walk by and just smile at the mother. Do you know how much it would me to her, just smile at her, and without even saying anything let her know that its okay, that she is okay.
I was recently at the airport with Blaise. We were waiting to board the plane and he was beginning his meltdown. He was really struggling and I was so tired and just exhausted from running to the gate to make the plane. I just couldn't bring him out of the meltdown. Then all of a sudden an older couple in front of me turned to look at me. The woman must have read Blaise's name on his backpack and so she started talking to him. Low and behold he stopped being upset. We started to board the plane and she turned again and smiled at me. I smiled back and thought to myself, "thank you, thank you sweet stranger, thank you for reaching out!"
Such a small little gesture went such a long way.
How many of you out there have a friend with a child with special needs, or have a family member with special needs? I bet a ton of you answered yes. If you answered yes, then please think about doing this.
- Reach out to your friends or family, send them a message just to say hello.
- Don't get mad at them if they can't come to all of your parities or get togethers, sometimes it is just too hard.
- If they seem to disappear sometimes it is not personal, life can be rather tricky for them.
I only ask this of you, always have empathy, always remember that every family looks different. Please don't judge your friends or family or strangers on how you think they are raising their kids......
PLEASE ALWAYS REMEMBER THIS ONE LAST THING (I said it earlier)
As the parent of a child with special needs we are just trying to get through the day!