“Boy With Autism victim of ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Prank”
I read the above article today, and short of eating bad food, nothing has caused such an instantly negative, physical reaction within me. I started crying, I wanted to vomit, and then I wanted to hug the boy and his family. The fact that there are still such cruel and ignorant people out there (when they are imperfect themselves) breaks my heart.
My brother is 15. He is also Autistic. And to me, he is perfect. I wouldn’t have him any other way. We were all blessed to have him grow to be very high-functioning, but there were many days during his childhood where we as a family struggled with him. We did fear that he wouldn’t eventually go to school, make friends, get a job, drive, or have any other part in the “American dream”. But even with all of that, through the tantrums and communication barriers we never loved him any less.
When he was 5 he knew every state, state capital and state motto. He knows every make and model of any car. He is an expert on trains. He has GPS built into his head. He watches the news and the weather channel. And every day he hugs me and tells me, “You’re a good person, and a great sister.” Sure, not every family is as lucky as we turned out to be. But we had looks. Eye rolls. Stares. Glares. And sometimes, even compassion. Because the good people out there knew he couldn’t help it. Not everything is under the control of the child or the parent. But both the child and the parent deserve love and support. Even from strangers.
Everyone born into this world is born innocent. Even the deaf, blind, those with Autism, Downs Syndrome, MS, missing fingers, a multitude of freckles, or crooked teeth, are all worthy of love, and kindness and understanding. People are born the way they are born with no choice in how their DNA is structured. But everyone is born just the way they should be. And they are all beautiful.
No one is going to understand everything, and yet even without that understanding the world still turns.
What is the meaning of life? I don’t know.
How did we get here? I don’t know.
But what I do know is that one day we won’t be here, so why not make life be the best we can?
World peace seems like Miss America’s pipe dream. The biggest cliche. Even still, there is not one reason it shouldn’t be everyone’s dream. There is not one reason it can’t be possible.
It shouldn’t be so hard.
Not everyone needs to be the same, believe the same, or feel the same. We aren’t mass produced robots, nor should we want to be. Why is it that we can appreciate the beauty of every snowflake, each one different from the last, but strain to find anything beautiful and miraculous about each other? Accept the differences. You don’t need to conform, but accept what is.
Or don’t. Whether an individual likes it or not, people are still going to be white, black, skinny, fat, Muslim, Christian, gay, straight, or Autistic. It is what it is and it isn’t so bad. Love each other! Or at least be civil.
“Mother’s” from days of old sure had it right; “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” Disagreeing is normal, our opinions are partly what makes us our unique selves, but there is a distinct difference in definitions between the words “opinion” and “fact”…and many people need to be aware that their opinions are not fact. Those opinions which spread hate, and hurt, and shame and fear are never fact. We may all be unique individuals, but at the exact same time we are all human. We all have skin and bones holding us together, and holding our beating hearts in place. The air I breathe in is the same air you breathe out. A smile means the same thing no matter who is doing the smiling or which continent it may be happening in. And so does a hug.
Nothing is without consequence.
No act of love.
No act of hate.
Something always affects someone.
It’s funny, how much of the world’s cultures are based on some part of religion. It’s also funny how many wars are being fought due to some religious clashes. Yet most religions, Christian, Muslim, Jewish, those who worship the Golden Rule, have the same fundamental base: Do good. Be good.
So why the hate? I may not read the same book as you, but both of our books tell us to be kind, and to love each other.
Maybe we need to work on our literacy.
In life, bad things will happen to you. Someone will leave, someone will die. There will be a tornado, a fire, an accident. The market will crash. You will get sick. Someone will say you look funny. You’ll forget to set your alarm. You will spill your coffee on your white shirt.
No matter what bad things happen, it doesn’t mean you have to become bad. It will be hard. It will change you. In life, the good and the bad form you. But you still have the final say in who you are.
Give when you can. Accept help when you have to.
See the beauty in the world.
Every act of kindness can prevent one act of hate. The storms will still rage and the coffee will still spill, but the cruel words and acts of violence are completely within our control.
“”life, as beautiful as a rose can be as painful as a thorn, but through it comes faith, hope, love and the most memorable and vital lessons learned only through the experiences of it all”
Be empowered to spread it.
UPDATE: Ice Bucket Pranksters Identified