Be warned I suspect a bit of a ramble mixed in with a touch of blubber is coming up!
The first thing I watched today from a facebook friend's link was this. It is a TED talk by a woman named Stacey Kramer. Take the time to watch as it is only a 3minute monologue but it is deeply toughing. She reminded me that we truly do need to take the time to cherish every thing in our lives daily. I guess it goes back to that quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson, "life is a journey, not a destination". I mean, at the end of the day we know that the destination is death, harsh but true. What we don't know is how long our journey is going to be, so we must value it and make the most of it and be thankful for it's ingredients. As Stacey says, it may not all be great stuff along the way but at least you are alive and I figure if it doesn't kill you it will make you stronger and wiser!
But it isn't just about valuing our lives is it. We have to do what we can to make other people's life journeys easier and more valued. This comes down to respect really. We need to respect other's choices, lifestyles and ways. We may not agree with them or choose them for ourselves but at the end of the day we can walk away. What we cannot and must not do is judge, persecute or condemn. "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all", not sure who said it but I like it. It doesn't mean we have to go around lying by saying stuff we don't believe, it also doesn't mean staying quiet if we believe something strongly and want to be heard. But it also doesn't mean we have the right to insult on a personal level. To belittle others and make their lives miserable.
This brings me to the second thing I read this morning from this blog. This is a sad and tragic read about the rise in child suicide in USA. Fortunately in Australia reported suicide rates have declined in all states except Tasmania. Many of these child suicides would have been preventable if we treated others with respect!! It breaks my heart that there are children as young as six years old feeling they need to end their lives because they are being told they are not good enough, wrong, evil and the list goes on. Get a fucking grip folks, who says your way is the right way??? I will probably get a back lash for saying this but I wonder how many of these suicides are from 'church going folk'?? Just sayin! I mean the rate of churches that accept gays is probably lower than the rate of child suicide and the leading cause is generally because a child is either perceived as gay (as if that is a bad thing) or actually is struggling with their own sexuality and they are deemed as not normal.
Just what is normal though? I had an interesting conversation with a mum at home-ed group the other week. We were discussing children on the autism spectrum and she was saying how her son says that he is the only 'normal' person and that everyone else is different. I think this is just beautiful! Everyone's perception of normal is different. For me normal is living with depression, and I really mean living with it. Not fighting it and exhausting myself but accepting that this is part of me, I take medication daily to help control it and I see a psychologist on a regular basis to vent and to also learn techniques to make my life easier. I have had to fight many internal battles to reach a point where I can say "I AM NORMAL!! THIS IS MY NORMAL!"
A great blog I have stumbled on is here and has a series of posts called Portraits of Autism. She writes beautifully on what her (and her son's) experiences have been in the early days of diagnosis. This other blog is another incite into the world of autism and made me stop and wonder what goes on in my boys head. I wish I could step in his shoes to understand his motives for behaviour and words, not to change them necessarily but just be able to respond to them a little more appropriately. I am sure to him everything he says and does is normal and we are just plain weird for being different LOL
Lets embrace our normality in all it's shapes and sizes. Teach our children that they are perfect just how they are and to know that normal is unique. I am a strong believer in respect. There is not enough of it about and that saddens me. I see examples of this daily and despair that just like crime and poverty it is a cycle that is perpetuated through the generations. I have no answers on this one and wish I did, I guess all we can do is teach our children to love themselves and others , to respect themselves and others and to care.