Delightfully Different Life to “I Wish I Didn’t Have Aspergers”: #AutismPositivity2012 Flash Blog Event 5

Dear Aspie,

I understand how you might feel that way. There are people in this world who think we should all be like them. They make others feel bad about themselves. They do not understand that you have many gifts to offer the world. I want to share with you a favorite quote I came across again recently while reading  Aspire: Discovering Your Purpose Through the Power of Words by Kevin Hall:

To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else – means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight.  

E.E. Cummings

This is the life of an Aspie, but I want you to know the fight is worthwhile.

Much of the book is Hall’s conversations with Professor Arthur Watkins, Master of Words. Hall is not learning the words for the first time, rather he is learning more about the origin of words and the power hidden within words. I am only beginning the book, but I want to share with you the definition of two words.

The Hindu word, namasté (pronounced nah-mah-STAY). According to Hall, Mahatma Gandhi once told Albert Einstein, “Namasté. It means I honor the place in you where the entire universe resides. I honor the place in you of light, love, truth, peace, and wisdom.” Hall notes, “It recognizes that no one, not one soul, in the human family is exempt from receiving gifts that are uniquely his or her own.” He goes on to describe every individual as authentic.

Arthur Watkins noted authentic comes from two words one means self and one means being. Therefore, authentic “means being yourself.”

Hall states, “Namasté salutes authenticity. Society often does not.”

I think it should.

Many are trying to change this and they are true inspirations. I wrote about some of them earlier this month for autism awareness. Please read: Three Voices of Inspiration and More Than Autism Awareness: Acceptance, Appreciation, and Accommodation So They Can Soar! 

I believe your generation will be the one to truly change the world to a kinder and more accepting place. Please stay around to see it happen and please celebrate your uniqueness for it really is a good thing.

Three Voices of Inspiration: Promoting Accommodation, Acceptance and Appreciation of Differences 3

What is Inspiration? The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines inspiration as “the act or power of moving the intellect or emotions.” People who work to change the world to a place where we appreciate differences inspire others. They accept the challenge to heal society of its wrongs. They raise their voices to educate others as they work to forgive them for their lack of understanding.

I am among the privileged that heard voices of inspiration recently at the Pacific Rim International Conference on Disabilities & Diversity. Their voices made me realize that they are not the ones disabled; society’s treatment of them gives this illusion. The truth is anyone who fails to see others soul to soul is far more disabled than anyone we call “disabled.” Society is wasting brilliant minds by failing to see this.

There was so much inspiration in one place! Three of the voices that inspired me the most were Keith P. Jones of Soul Touchin, Drew Goldsmith of IamNorm.org and Laura Nagle of Vectors of Autism. Click on the links for more information about them.

Keith P. Jones has cerebral palsy, but please do not feel sorry for him. He is one of the best voices for advocacy I have ever had the privilege to hear. He gave his presentation to a standing room only crowd while he cracked jokes and told how he handles those who inappropriately invade his personal space. Hint: Never ever ask to pray for him and then pray for the “sins of his mother.” His mother did not cause his cerebral palsy and she is no sinner!

Drew Goldsmith turns sixteen this month, but he has already accomplished much in his young life, so please No Pity when you learn that he is autistic. Not only is he a film creator, he also started a website I am Norm to educate others and change the perception of others about being “normal.” I love this young man and wish him all the best in the future. I know he can go far if society allows him to do so.

Laura Nagle is an Aspie woman who prefers being called an Aspie instead of Autistic because, “That man (Hans Asperger) got us.” I am proud to call her my friend. She found me on Twitter months ago and identified me as a “half-Aspie”, a term I have come to love. The movie Vectors of Autism premiers April 13th in Flagstaff, AZ on the NAU campus. She talks about how society holds people back much more than anything else does. She wants to heal society as do I. She does not like using the word disability and I understand completely. She and other adults give parents a better understanding of Aspie and autistic children in a way that no one else can.