By Brigitte Shipman | April 6, 2021. | Autism, Mother Guide, Autism Awareness, Differences
Awareness is the beginning of understanding that brings us all the ability to move forward with love and grace. This applies in all the areas of our life that we are navigating to live authentically.
Today I want to apply awareness to autism and my son Joseph. I can only speak of my own awareness and how it has offered me growth as a human being. I speak from my mother’s heart as I write this to anyone who is willing to take a few minutes out of their busy days to read it. My intention is that you leave this short message with a deeper understanding of a life living with autism.
I asked my son, my teacher, if he would write a short message that I could share with all of you on the topic of World Autism Awareness Day, and within a few minutes, he responded with these inspiring words.
World Autism Awareness Day has come again during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thankfully, things are improving, but the pandemic is certainly not over.
This doesn’t mean that the movement to bring awareness to autism has stopped. In fact, it is likely to see a welcome increase as we come out of this latest storm. Let us remember in the coming year that the spirit of this awareness movement is to make sure everyone has a chance at a fulfilling and meaningful life. There's a common saying in the autism community: “When you’ve met one autistic person, you’ve met one autistic person.” So even though we might have similar traits, we all have different needs, desires and abilities. Too often, people on the spectrum are treated as if we must be liberated from a developmental deviance to be corrected. That we are secret geniuses, rendered stupid by dark and insidious forces. In truth, we must be liberated from these views of autism. We deserve, above all else, to be the healthiest, happiest, and most authentic versions of ourselves. As Albert Einstein once said, “If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” Everyone is different and that’s ok. Let’s make this the focus of our awareness moving forward.
My awareness has grown deeper from the words of my son. He continues to show me how to be a higher version of myself. For today, I will make every effort to view all people as if they were a fish trying to climb a tree, and rather than judging them for not making it to the top of the tree, I will hold out my hand and help them find water.
Imagine what our world could be like if we all slowed down long enough to appreciate our differences rather than judging them.
I would like to ask each of you that find this message to pass it forward, and to live with the intention of being kinder. To notice the beauty in each person and be the highest version of ourselves. The mantra that I will use today is: My answer for everything is kindness. No matter who appears to be rude, indifferent, sad, angry, happy or not, the answer is kinder. I will be kinder.
Living this mantra will give me the mindset that I need to increase my own awareness of celebrating differences in each person. What a gift to have to offer myself, my sons, family, friends, clients, and readers. I feel inspired and hopeful! I hope you do too!
Thank you, Joseph, for offering your insight to how we can make the world a kinder place living through this awareness moving forward. You continue to teach and show me a way to grow as a person. Without you I would not be who I have become, which is a more insightful and kinder mom, teacher, friend, sister, and daughter. I love you!
I hope all of you take your own awareness with you and that you put it out into the world.
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