Sometimes you hear a story about a person that makes you stop in your tracks and think, “Whoa. I could never do what that person is doing.”
Last night, I saw a story on the news about Darius Matsuda, a soon-to-be sophomore in high school who is visiting local middle schools to tell his story about growing up with autism. He shares with the students his experiences – including being forced into a circle with another boy while the others chant “Fight! Fight! Fight!” He explains what it’s like to live with autism – how it impacts your sensitivity to sound, light, and your ability to make friends.
It’s a powerful, personal story, and he’s already told it nine times to kids not that much younger than he is. All in the hopes that kids learn a little compassion for their fellow students, and understand that just because someone is different doesn’t mean they’re lesser than. Darius is going for Eagle Scout, and this is his service project.
This kid is amazing. Talk about putting yourself out there.
I bet that if we look hard enough, we all have someone like Darius around us. Someone with a story to tell, who has learned lessons in their life and are willing to share them. Not because it will help them…but because it will help those who come after them.
These are the heroes in your community and in your workplace. Listen to their stories. Learn their lessons.
Nice work, Darius.
If you want to learn more about autism and how to get involved, visit the Autism Society website.