After this week I am left with two main thoughts
1. I am truly blessed with a privileged life. I don't have a lot of job responsibilities and I am surrounded by people who greatly appreciate the little things I actually do.
2. Everyone is important.
I guess I already know everyone is important. Many people as well as the Bible and other religious books from many religions will teach that in one way or another. It is one thing to read it but it is entirely different to be hit over the head with it. For the past 4 weeks I have worked in an Autism classroom. At any given time, there are about 8 students in the room with a few others in regular classes. Each student is different and each student had a lesson to teach me in my four weeks (today is my last scheduled day although I could get extended).
One student came in with a smile and a goofy personality every day. He helped me take time to relax and play make believe for just a couple minutes before getting back to work. Always there was hope in his eyes that he would have a great day with lots of fun.
Another student was more like Eeyore. Talks slow and keeps his head down. He helped teach me the importance of speaking to everyone kindly. If you lost your patience and demanded he answer - he would shut down. If you worked with him he spoke loud and clear.
There are so many other beautiful and insightful lessons my students gave me. They were a joy to be around and a huge pro-life statement. Even the low-functioning can have truly joyful moments and can be proud of the progress in something as simple as standing unsupported for 20 minutes. If you pay attention, they will teach you the important things in life. Even though I wouldn't wish a disability on anyone, I respect and appreciate what they bring to the world. I'm glad there is no pre-natal test to get rid of them like with down-syndrome and sad to know how many babies we are missing because of that fact.