Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words, and never stops at all
And sweetest is the gale is heard; and sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm...
~Emily Dickinson

Saturday, February 27, 2010

I have asked myself many times if Kannon would ever grow up and have friends, a girlfriend, play sports, be able to attend a regular school...
There have been moments when I felt that I would be a success as a mother if I raised my kids into contributing members of society.
There was a time when I was at the park with Kannon and another mother and I were chatting as Kannon and her son ran around together. She seemed interested in Autism and had many questions, which I was happy to answer.
Then she asked me if it bothered me that Kannon may never become a contributing member of society....
I was speechless.

What exactly constitutes someone as a "contributing member of society"?
Where and why did this phrase take on so much meaning to people?
There are so many takes on this one...where to start...
Do we first separate by gender?
Do we separate into age groups?
I would think that a "member" would include ANY and EVERY human being....

Ultimately does a person need to physically contribute something before they can earn this title?

My opinion is that we all should strive to contribute something to society.
I don't think it matters how big your audience or receiving group may be...
Feeding the homeless or volunteering is a wonderful idea.
Picking up trash on the beach while taking a walk is also nice.
Going to work every single day to do the responsible thing for yourself or your family, this is what most folks do every single day...I think it should be counted as one of the top honors.
Work can consist of pretty much everything and anything, but it really is what holds societies together...it is what keeps people moving forward.

I would imagine it being difficult to work your entire life and forgetting why you did it to begin with.
I know a lot of people work because obviously they have to...
We should all work.
Again, I think "work" could be many different things....I don't judge in that manner.
We should also be reminded why we do it everyday, and know that we are in some way making this world go round and round with our efforts.

What about kids though?
How can they be judged or considered as contributing members of society?
Just because they don't have a job that pays money doesn't mean they aren't doing a bigger job.
Kids add joy to our lives that cannot be bought or reproduced.
They also bring tears, frustration and levels of insanity we never knew we had in us.
All that being said, they teach us more about ourselves than we ever knew possible and they don't judge us when we fail.
They let us act out and when we are done, they still want to be our biggest fan.
They love spending time with us and cuddling with us.
They laugh every day and instinctively know they are something special to this world.
They really give us the opportunity to show ourselves what we are made of.
How patient we can be...
How much love we have in us...
How creative we are...
How unselfish we can or cannot be.
ALL of it comes back to us. We are tested every single day and our kids give us opportunity and motive to make our own choices....based on what we are really made of.

If that isn't contributing to society than I don't know what is.
We are all a society that needs each other and can learn from the little things every single day if we allow it.

If we have the patience for it.
If we really feel a desire for the bigger picture...
It can teach us so much and help us not just "get by" every day, but live in every moment.

The beautiful part about kids is that they don't realize they are doing a "job".
Innocence is what makes kids fantastic teachers...the lessons they provide for us every day.
Whether good ones or challenging, these are the lessons that we learn the most about ourselves.


1 comment:

  1. mmmmmmmmm... well she would be another one who doesn't even understand let alone "get it"! ;)

    It interests me that instead of being offended by this woman that you choose to embrace her narrow view and ill informed (read: RUDE) question as a stimulus for this type of discussion... I think you and I would make great friends.

    JFTR HER contribution to this society is obviously to show our children how NOT to behave! ;)