When my son was diagnosed with autism, Someone shared this piece of wisdom with me, “When you meet a child with autism, you have met ONE child with autism.”
This wisdom statement taught me 3 things:
1-There is a spectrum. Each child with autism has a unique way of expressing their gifts and experiencing their challenges. Celebrate the diversity! Diversity poses a challenge in how to help heal our children and it is an opportunity to be present to the subtle differences.
2- Just because I am learning my child with autism’s unique gifts and challenges does not mean I immediately understand another child’s experience of autism. I may speak from my own experience, but not on behalf of all children with autism or parents of children with autism.
3- Listen to the child. Listen to the parent. I try to encourage them when I can and offer practical advice only when asked.
So, when I read Barbara Brown Taylor’s words, “when you have met one Christian, you have met exactly one,” I smiled at the reminder.
We can expand what Barbara Brown Taylor wrote and the wisdom shared with me to create a fill in the blank.
When I have met one ___________, I have met exactly one.
I had a teacher once tell me that she wishes we could all just appreciate our connectedness as human beings. I understood her point and also felt something lacking in her statement.
We can connect in solidarity in that we are all human, but we can’t stop there. To only appreciate each other as human beings is to distance ourselves from truly knowing each other in what makes us unique. You cannot know me or appreciate me or truly love me without embracing what makes me unique.
My hope is that as we celebrate diversity that this reminder serves as a way of opening the door to new people and new experiences.
Want to journey with a group committed to seeing each person as a gift? Want to explore a practice that can help open your body, heart, mind and soul? Join us at The Yoga Sanctuary.