Over this last week I have really been humbled to think on this word of compassion. Perhaps it is something that I need more of: more compassion for my children, for the poor, for the “unworthy”, for those that cannot do for themselves. I have found that many people who I thought understood this word truly does not….and not only do they not understand, but they reject the very idea of it. How can one word carry so much weight? What exactly IS compassion? Why is it so important in our daily lives? Why is it something that we have to learn? Lets take a look into what compassion is and how it affects our lives.
Most scholars believe compassion is the ultimate in human metamorphosis….a sort of transcendence from a lower being to a higher being. To reach this point individuals have to FEEL the mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical pain of others. One must put that person before themselves and understand how another can come to that point of suffering.
While I am not sure that I am the epitomy of compassion, I strive in my life to feel more for others than what society requires. In the criteria for an autism diagnosis it is stated that individuals on the spectrum do not have the ability to have empathy ( a type of compassion) nor do many have sympathy (the ability to understand another’s pain), but I do not agree with this. I believe as I am autistic and so are my children and many many individuals I know, that it is NOT that we DON’T feel pain, but that we do not SHOW our sympathy/empathy/compassion appropriately.
It is a horrible thing to assume that someone, a group of individuals, do not have the capability to feel these emotions. It is a travesty of sorts to put all of these untruths upon a group of people without truly looking as to the root of the problem.
The root of the problem so to speak is the fact that people with autism are logical. this might not make since unless you take a look at the average man. When a man is upset he yells, cusses, and may throw a fist, but then the two duke it out….and go grab a drink. Men also do not show emotions or well let me say the typical man do not show emotions unless there is a need too, unless the emotions are overwhelming. Men are logical creatures and know that at the end of the day crying over something doesn’t get the job done. They will act then think. THIS is how the average person with autism is.
We understand that when you release emotions that is all you have done; you have not corrected whatever is going on. We also like to internalize, think, and process what is happening to the extreme that we introvert. I’m not saying this is healthy by any means, I am saying this is the way of the auties!
However, even with all of that said we have the ability to love, cherish, and give compassion, but society itself has started losing and forgetting these dearly held notions. How is it that a society that has as much technological advances still has not advanced spiritually. Our country is suppose to be founded on the love of others and freedom, yet all I have seen this week is many individuals believing that the less fortunate should just “die off” because “only the strong survive”. That it is a choice to be poor in America. That because someone makes a meager earning that they do not deserve health insurance and instead should just “find a better job”. When did all the neurotypicals lose their ability for compassion? How did we let it get to this point? How did the autistics become the ones to express love and compassion to those in need?
I am truly bothered by what I have seen this week. EVERYONE has the ability to lose everything they own in the matter of seconds, all it takes is for the breadwinner to become laid off.
While I may have not transcended and reached an enlightened state as of yet, I do hope that I keep certain truths in my heart. These truths include understanding the suffering of those less fortunate, giving unselfishly to many, allowing myself the opportunity to bear some of the hardships other face, and the grace to heal.
Remember we all make of ourselves with what we have been given, so give to others so they may do better!
A few words of wisdom from my son. We were talking about my maiden name because Dorian asked me what it was before I married their dad. Well, I’ve never married their dad so my maiden name has always stayed the same. He was like Oh…ok. Then he asked if I would ever get married and I was like maybe one day. He says to me “That’s ok Mom…..Just Let Life Take The Way.”
How inspirational is that? lol My 9 year old with autism is more free thinking then half this universe. I’m proud of my children and proud of what they have become and who they are turning into. Wonderful, free thinking individuals.
My Birthday Poem
I think of you as my mommy and sister and brother too,
And how now and then when it’s your birthday
I will say I love you too,
And every night when you’re outside in the moon-light
you’re hair shines like a star in the sky
and when I’m in bed I say,
Good Night and I Love You Too