Have you seen the video that has been making the rounds on Facebook this week, about the young basketball player with autism? Like most people, I was moved to tears, cheering for Jason, the young man, and rejoicing with the people around him.
But while it encouraged and filled me with optimism, I also ached for all those other people who have the same difficulties in life but who don't have a coach caring enough to make him team manager or insightful enough to let him take the court; who don't have parents who make it possible for him to be part of the team; who don't have teammates trusting enough to hand him the ball for his three-pointers; or who may have all of those but miss all his shots.
What then? The video, if there were even one, wouldn't go viral on Facebook. They would get a few hundred less "way to go"s. They don't get to feel the high that comes from such an incredible event.
Hopefully this makes me a bit more aware of people around me struggling, not just with autism. In my circle, it's with the kids who don't understand boundaries, those who feel defeated by every small setbacks. It's the adults with chips on their shoulders carved so deep they can't even notice it, those who are simply worn out by demands on their strength and emotions.