Monday, May 25, 2020

Autism Answer: In Service

My youngest with my sister's youngest.

Today is Memorial Day in the USA. Memorial Day is set aside to honor and remember those who have died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.

I confess, that while I have no struggle with honoring and remembering people, I am deeply uncomfortable with the United States Armed Forces.

However, it is easy for me to use this day as a refreshing of, and reflection on, my passion for honoring and remembering the value and complexities of being in service.

A desire to be in service, I suggest, is innate in all of us.

But too often we refuse it. Or when we choose it, it is by stepping into an oversized system that is built to simulate a sense of being in service. Those systems almost always include aspects and opportunities for true service but rarely are entirely holistic or sustainable when put to the test of their proposed mission.

But we do all have an ability and desire to be in service.

We can do this daily by being willing to inconvenience ourselves, divert from our scheduled plans, even put ourselves in danger, to take time with someone reaching out.

It is true that sometimes people don't reach out until they are in a dangerous state. It is true that sometimes we put ourselves in danger when choosing to meet them where they are and hope to guide them to somewhere healthy. In these cases, be careful. Ask for help yourself if you can. But on Memorial Day it serves us to remember that moving into danger to be of service can be heroic. Can be, if we are careful and aware of who we are risking our safety to help.

My youngest brother is highly capable now, compared to where he was only years ago, and that is because a) he works at it, has clear goals, and wants it b) he reaches out to me or my mom when he needs guidance, ideas, calming down and c) trusts we will help.

My mom and I rarely are too busy for him, even though we often are. And when we don't take the time to guide him out of his misery, it is always with a belief in his ability to do it himself, not pity or avoidance of him.

Memorial Day can be a day for us to be in service. As we remember and honor the fallen vets, we can reach out to a living disabled veteran, one struggling with addiction, P.T.S.D, depression, or mobility issues. This will serve us equal to, if not more than, them.

And reflect on how accessible we are. Every day, how accessible are we? How inclusive and accessible is the world around us?

Make changes, ask others to make changes.

This Memorial Day - honor and remember and give gratitude to the fallen vets, and everyone who finds ways to make being in service a lifestyle. We will all be fallen one day. Let's honor those who have fallen before us. Who have been heroes and livers of intentional inclusive lives in service to others.

And let's become a hero in service ourselves.

“We don’t grow sophisticated alone.” ~Dr. Lynette Louise (“The Brain Broad”) 

Hugs, smiles, and love!!