Confession: I read a story in the above video of the time there was a ghost at my door, and how our small one-time conversation had meant much, and how small kindnesses can have large effects, and how (and here is the small lie I tell in the true story) I have easily been able to partake in these small kindnesses because I am not afraid of Kevin Reese.
Well, it is true that I am not and was not afraid of Kevin Reese, but it is also true the reason for that largely has to do with a difference in us that was not too different.
The truth is I often have been, and sometimes still am, afraid of people drastically and vastly different than me. People who are so different that I am unusually challenged to find common ground for understanding, relating, and exploring my empathy.
With these people I try harder. I take the time to re-think and examine my worry and fear, while I impress upon myself the value of growing by learning from a person or perspective farther from my own. But I also know that kindness can include letting go and not getting in the way of someone else who may be more capable of caring and getting to know that person in an active and maybe even longer lasting way. I remind myself that sometimes my fear or worry is correct, and pretending it isn't speaking to me doesn't keep me or the other person safe. Often, it is wrong to push a connection in the name of trying to be caring. Sometimes that ignites an otherwise avoidable explosion hurting everyone involved.
We are always able to be kind, even when we are afraid, but we are not responsible for creating kindness consistently in the lives of everyone. I truly believe that we are all - every single one of us - uniquely able to care about and connect with people, and we are able to be connected with and cared about. However, we are not all built to connect with everyone.
So, let's let go of fear and find our tribes. Let's give away our time in small moments of unexpected kindnesses. Let's know we can and believe we will.
But if you're a little too afraid of Kevin Reese, don't despair. Take the time to explore why, forgo the temptation to blame and judge, then move on to a new person meant for you, comfortable in the knowledge that I am not afraid of Kevin Reese.
Though, please also know, I am relying on you to care about and connect with someone far outside my comfort zone. Someone I decide is not right for me but right for another. You see? We are a good team, you and me!
Together we care for and connect with, are cared for by and connected to, the entire world!
Now, with that confession out of the way, I hope you'll take a moment to listen while I read my true life ghost story just in time for Halloween.
Happy Friday, friends!
Hugs, smiles, and love!!!!
Autism Answers with Tsara Shelton (Facebook)
*The above video is from my personal YouTube channel, but this following one I was honored to share with Blank Spaces, a Canadian Literature magazine that published my story. I invite you to watch the video here and check out the description. Take advantage of the links to their sites! The magazine (print & digital) is beautiful and each year (they are now in year two) they publish an anthology of stories and poetry from the magazine. They do a wonderful job of bringing Canadian literature to audiences in a variety of ways. I'm grateful to be part of the Blank Spaces community. I hope you'll join us!*