What does it say about our society when a little boy has to wear a tshirt that pronounces he is autistic and asks for strangers to be kind to him? What treatment has this small person endured from adults in his world that has driven his parents to dress him this way?
I was in the carpark of a shopping centre with my children when I saw a little boy standing next to my car. We said hello and he smiled back at us. His mother raced up to catch him with her arms full of parcels, obviously worried. We said smiled hello and greeted each other. The tension shifted from her and her shoulders visibly dropped. It wasn’t until I was reversing from my spot that I noticed his shirt.
On the front said in bold print “I’m autistic”. On the back said “I’m autistic. Please be kind to me”. I wanted to jump out of my car and hug this woman (alas, not appropriate). How stressed must she feel leaving the house to enjoy the sunshine? We live in a modern age, full of opportunity and information. How could our society arrive here? Is this as good as it gets? Please no. Let this be a message and a journey of repair.
This might sound like common sense, but I will continue anyhow:
- Everyone has their own path and their own story,
- Judgement breeds insecurity, resentfulness and sadness,
- Kindness is the basis of everything- when stripped bare, all we really want is kindness,
- Children learn from modelled behaviour,
- Words hurt,
- Love heals,
- It is our communal responsibility to care for the children in our area,
- People who complain about the state of our society’s problems better back themselves with direct action,
- Small acts of kindness on a regular basis make us better people,
- Better people make better communities,
- Better communities make better societies,
- Better societies make a better world.
I pledge to this little boy and his family. I will be kind. Thanks for the reminder.
A Christmas message: love thy neighbours and their children.
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