Everyone’s Different

 

I hope you all had a great weekend. I know ours was everything I wanted and more! We ran, played soccer, ate good food, slept a lot–all the components of a good time.

This morning, I’ve been thinking. Uh oh! That’s a recipe for disaster, right?

Say it ain’t so!

I was thinking back to when I was a summer camp counselor at the YMCA in college. I was always in charge of the middle school and older group, and we all know how awkward, cruel, and unforgiving middle schoolers can be as they are navigating the world and figuring themselves out.

There was one boy in particular who had an autism spectrum disorder. He was, of course, different from the other kids and they definitely took notice. He did things differently, acted differently, and was interested in different things. Though he could be annoying (and, let’s face it, most of the kids could be!), I always tried to see things from his perspective.

Flowers!

Always look on the bright side!

The other kids often yelled at him, picked on him, made fun of him, and of course they were chided for treating him that way. I remember at one point a group of the “in crowd” coming up to me and asking, “Is there something wrong with him?”

It made me think.

If they knew that there was a reason he was different, and that he wasn’t just trying to be annoying or awkward on purpose or to get on their nerves, would they have treated him differently? If he had had a visible disability, would they have been nicer, more understanding?

I think they definitely would have.

I’ve been mediating a lot on the following quote:

be kind

Mondays are always hard. Remember that you don’t know who’s struggling with divorce, money problems, eating disorders, low self-esteem, and abusive relationships. You don’t know who’s struggling with health problems, family troubles, invisible disabilities, and other worries.

So make an effort to be kind no matter who you meet or speak to today. Make an effort to change their perspective. Make an effort to be a small light when it seems like the world is crowded in darkness.

You will surely make a difference.

Happy Monday!

 

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