I had forgotten about this image that I found in my writing files last week. Made by a good friend several years ago, I hadn't seen it in a long time. I hadn't read the piece that inspired my friend to make the image in a long time either. I'm glad to share it here. I had a few ideas about what to write as we began another month of April, but nothing sounded exactly right for today. That image, as simple as it is, said it all.
If you've been reading my writing for any length of time, you'll recognize that hoping, helping, and acting are running themes of many of my stories about our personal experiences. Some days I veer from that norm. Even when I share what happened on a really rough day, though, or when I recall a cry-my-eyes-out memory, I try to add an element of hope.
Without hope, there can be despair.
Without help, there can be difficulties.
Without action, there can be apathy.
Acting. Helping. Hoping. Each of those is important. The element of hope can sometimes be the most important of the three.
This month and every month, I will continue to hope that what I actively do for my son makes a difference. I hope it makes a difference in his life and for the lives he touches. What a blessing to be able to turn some of our struggles into learning moments for others. Easily, I could stay quieter. I could let despair creep in on the very tiring days. I could just flat out quit.
I couldn’t do that, though, not when we’ve always managed to find a way to bounce back. We don’t just bounce back. Other people have also! What a gift it is to know that, by just sharing our story, some have been spared what we were not. That alone drives me to continue to do more, to say more, and to want to help others more. That is what I want to promote this month.
Acting. Helping. Hoping. Why?
When we act, we help. When we help, we raise hope. When we hope, all things are possible.
Cathy Jameson is a Contributing Editor for Age of Autism.