Sunday, July 20, 2008

Think before you act

After reading granola's most recent post I felt the need to say something. For everyone out there that knee jerk reacts to every situation please stop. Stop and think the entire situation through before ripping into someone or giving them the dirty looks. This post is very much geared towards myself as well since I am just as guilty as the next person. To often I find myself reacting, usually overreacting, to a situation before I stop to think about everything that may be involved. If someone cuts me off in traffic I immediately get angry and start praying for them. (and by praying I mean screaming at them like crazy) I never stop to think that maybe this person really has an emergency. Maybe this person cut me off because their child is injured and they are on their way to the emergency room to help them. Maybe they are lost in thought because they had something tragic happen to them, and for one second they drifted away and accidentally cut me off. In these cases I should be praying for them and not overreacting. I once heard a story about a guy that had five kids and got onto a train. The man sat quietly on the train while his five kids ran around acting like kids and annoying the people on the train. After several glares and comments under peoples breath someone finally had the nerve to say something. he person told the man that he should learn to control his kids. The father simply replied that he is sorry, but he just lost his wife of several years, and the kids had lost their mother. He simply didn't know what to do, and he thinks his kids don't know what to do either. Again stop and think before giving your oh so brilliant wisdom. Would it have killed just one person on the train to just reach out and ask the man if he is ok, or to try and help calm the kids. The sad thing is it is easier for us to be confrontational than helpful. We can be rude and uncaring so much easier than compassionate and loving.

One more story then I am done for tonight. As a father of a special needs child I have grown accustomed to the glares and comments under peoples breath. When J-Bob has a melt down in a store people always have the oh so brilliant advise of, "If that was my kid I would beat him until he settled down." A. Your an idiot if you ever think that beating a child is going to calm him down. and B. My son doesn't react the way he does because he is a spoiled brat. The things we take for granted literally drive him into a melt down. If a tag on the neck portion of his shirt is not ripped off he freaks out. If a drop of water is on his clothes it has to come off. If the fabric he is wearing isn't smooth on his skin he can not wear it. If there is a semi loud noise in the background that the normal person wouldn't notice he literally shuts down. He covers his ears and stops everything until the noise goes away. His body is so overly sensitive to these things that he can not function until it is fixed. No amount of screaming, beating, or disciplining is ever going to fix that. So the next time you see my kid walking around Walmart wearing noise reducing ear phones and you laugh because you think he looks goofy, stop and think. Think about what he may be going through. Think about what the parents are going through. How many other five year olds have to take 10+ pills a day and get a shot every third day just to feel good. Granola literally researches every day in the hopes of curing J-Bob. She is up every morning no later than 7:00AM with the kids regardless of how late she was up researching. She is currently sick, but still working every chance she can in order to afford the shots and supplements that JBob requires. We are living pay check to pay check because JBob requires so much special attention that she can't afford to have a full time job. The financial stress alone is enough to push most people over the edge, but she still manages to work two separate jobs in what would be our only free time together so we can survive and Jaden can have the necessary supplements. She drives him to therapy twice a week, and attends as many groups as she can in hopes of finding one more way to help JBob. She is so sleep deprived and sick right now that it hurts my heart to see her this way, but she won't stop. She won't rest until JBob is cured. So if she happens to cut you off in traffic, or maybe isn't overly friendly to you one day, stop and think. Maybe she isn't being rude, maybe she is just overwhelmed and tired and just needs someone to say, "Is there anything I CAN DO FOR YOU?"

Like I said earlier, this message is for me just as much as it is for everyone else. I am just as guilty of overreacting as the next person. I hope and pray that I can take my own advise and stop and think before reacting. Let's all stop taking the easy road of just getting angry, and trying the difficult one of lending a helping hand.

Thanks for reading and good night.



granolachic said...

thank you for noticing...thank you more for taking the time to listen, read, and then write...

i love you more each day...all almost 9 years worth more...ok...having ya babe!

Contemplative Photographer said...

Greetings! I, too, am a parent of a child with sensory integration disorder/low-level autism, but she is 21 now so I no longer have to deal with the challenges you and your wife are facing on a daily basis with your son.

My heart goes out to you both: this is a very lonely and exhausting job -- caring for your son, finding the energy to give your daughter what she needs, too, and making space for each other to help keep the marriage alive.

And I loved your post today; I wrote almost the same thing on my blog this morning:

Peace will not come for us -- as individuals, as a culture, or as a world -- until we can so develop our compassion that we come to see that we and our enemies are one; that we are capable of as much evil as they, that what we perceive as their evil could be rooted in our own, and that everyone -- both us and them, whoever "them" is in your world -- is both deeply wounded and deserving of love.

Keep up the good work: I know God is walking with you, and you are not as alone as you think; thanks for being open about your challenges.