A cathartic release.
“What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness? Love childhood, indulge its sports, its pleasures, its delightful instincts. Who has not sometimes regretted that age when laughter was ever on the lips, and when the heart was ever at peace? Why rob these innocents of the joys which pass so quickly, of that precious gift which they cannot abuse?”
Jean Jacques Rousseau –Émile, ou De l’éducation (On Education Book II)
And so it came to pass that a difficult situation has now resolved itself. While I process the events of the last few weeks, I have come to realise that there is a special kind of magic in a moment of compassion. A pure kind of altruistic action may not exist, but maybe tiny little instances of kindness are all that is needed.
People who demonstrate intimidating behaviour can only have an impact if they have power. Strip that power away and all that is left is bitterness. Perhaps there is a mercy in the autistic experience – some forms of intimidation pass right over my head. Without acknowledgement does an action carry any weight? Only if the memory of it comes back to haunt me.
I had a surprising moment of realization just over a month ago. I was abruptly instructed to complete a job I previously stated was challenging for an autistic person. The demanding person was problematic to be around and was subsequently the subject of a formal complaint that related to an unconnected incident.
Setting the curt nature of the demand aside I resolved simply perform the task. I was in the midst of an intense somatic attack (that I hid extremely well) when I had a profound moment of clarity – it happened in a split second; I acted with kindness and interacted with the people I was overseeing with dignity.
This calmed me and helped recollect who I choose to be – the best version of who I am. The entire moment was over within a few moments but continued to have a lasting impact. The reoccurring aspects of the situation that has now ended revealed many moments that have influenced the thoughts of these writings – yet the last moment of the experience was defined by a simple kindness.
I have observed that it is not only challenging being autistic, it is baffling being around an autistic person on a good day and extremely difficult on a bad day. We have an almost childlike view of the social world – innocently asking absurd questions and enjoying the colours of the seasons.
Sometimes we do not understand why the consequences of our actions do not match the intentions. Does this mean that we cannot take responsibility for what happens? It is difficult to resist laying blame elsewhere or making excuses when kindness was met with condescension and contempt. However, the path most desirable for resolution must always be peace. That harmony must resonate from within.
It is liberating to release a negative situation and move on. Regardless of how the ends are justified, the intention counts for something. Is it truly my problem to resolve if others do not believe in my honour? I have often repeated in my private writings, the phrase: ‘time will tell’ – this is the only ally that can preserve my dignity.
Beyond the difficult aspects of this experience is a beautiful piece worth preserving. The compassion I was shown demonstrates that there are always stars that shine through the darkness – even when the clouds prevent the light from reaching my soul.
Once again I enter a new chapter of uncertainty. This time my motivation is to move on with kindness in my heart so I can preserve my childlike curiosity.
I cannot control the actions of others.
I can control my own.
To a certain extent.