We all just want to be seen

I need to take a moment and vent a little.  You see, I am a mother of a special needs child.  Luckily my son’s disabilities aren’t “severe” and he is able to function (for the most part) in society, but it hasn’t always been that easy for him.  He’s grown up and his nerve endings have grown and reconnected in his brain just like the doctors said they would, in other words his brain rewired itself.  He was a target all through his school career and all he ever wanted really was for people to just leave him alone because he knew they’d never see him for who he really was.

If you now me you know that I LOVE the Wawa.  I love their Sugar Free Caramel Iced Latte and I treat myself to one whenever I can.  At the particular Wawa that we go to I have figured out that on Tuesdays and Thursdays there is a group home for mentally challenged persons to have an “outing” and they come to the Wawa.  For the most part every time I’ve ever seen them they’ve all be just all smiles and so happy to be on an outing.  They always say hi to everyone with the biggest smiles on their faces and when someone says hi back to them you can literally see them light up from inside their very soul.  Only once have I seen one having a “bad” day and was struggling to hold it together but that is to be expected.  If you have someone like that in your life (my son has Autism) then you know some days just don’t quite work for them.  That is the only time I’ve witnessed any of these beautiful souls not smiling.

Today my husband and I stopped in to get a coffee and as I walked by this young man he smiled so big and said “HI” to me all excitedly.   I of course smiled big right back at him and said ‘Hi to you”.  He just grinned.  It made  him happy to be seen.  About 20 seconds later a man was walking past him and side stepped to make sure he didn’t touch the sweet man as if maybe what he had was “contagious”.  The kind soul smiled and said “HI” to this asshole of a man who shrugged by him and purposely turning his head away so he wouldn’t make eye contact with him.  You could see this angels smile dull a little, but it didn’t stop him.  He turned and smiled at me then told another lady “HI” who said it back to him.  It took all I had to not chase that asshat down and throat punch him!  What would it have hurt for him to take 1 second of his pathetic life and tell this innocent loving soul “Hi”?  It wouldn’t have hurt him at all and it would have made someone else’s day.  Why do people in this day and age still treat these lovely souls like they are contagious and if they even look at them they will be cursed with the same disorders or extra chromosomes or diseases they have?  These people just want to be seen, accepted for who they are.. they just want to hear “hi” back.

Take a moment the next time you see someone like this and just admire their smile, their hope and love they have that shines brightly from them.  Take a moment and learn what true humanity is.  Don’t be a dick like the asshat today, say “hi” back if they say it to you.

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