Jun 17, 2013

When A Man Cries...

I've always been told that I am too kind a person. That I'm a man who has a too soft heart for my own good and, that my kindness for others sometimes brakes boundaries, that puts me in a bad personal position. Ok, fair enough. I KNOW I'm soft at heart. That I sometimes am too kind & soft for my own good. Sometimes, people try to take advantage of it. The thing they don't realize though, is that I'm also a person who "reads" people like open books! If they try to take advantage of my kindness, it will blow back on them. I'm not easily fooled, or "tricked" and, if they go there, it's no turning back. They've lost me - and my friendship...

People often say that when a man cries, he's a cliche. That it doesn't gain the man who does it, in good ways. I do tend to cry, or tear up at times. I'm actually very sensitive, and I guess it has to do with my childhood. I learned the hard way, that people are not nice to those who have a little more of special needs then others. I grew up having both ADD and Tourette Syndrome.
Needless to say, one of them is bad enough, but with the two combined, I can't even tell you how much of a bully victim, and "nutcase" I was in others eyes. Not just for those at my own age. Also adults!  Ok, when I grew up, the general knowledge of ADD and Tourette wasn't really too good. Today, Thank The Maker, it's more publicly known what the conditions are about. Still, people should be able to understand that "not being normal" is a condition. Not a choice. I don't have much education. I've learned my proffesion through practical work. Schools didn't manage to build a proper system for me, and they really didn't care, and realize enough that it was needed. Today, I do know that I could have sued my high school for six numbered figures, because of this. It says alot! But still, the treatment I got from other people was the worst. I mentioned it before: Without my mother, who NEVER gave up on me, I wouldn't be where I am today. I am also one of the lucky ones - I grew off me both the ADD and the Tourette. I haven't used medicine for the last 14 years and, I don't have much symptoms of any of the two anymore. They say that a very tiny percent of those who have either condition, will grow it off as time and years goes by. I'm one of the very few fortunate ones...
So, what makes me cry, as a man, doesn't have anything to do with movies and such (all though I can shed a tear in the theatre too). I find myself tearing up, or crying, if innocent children and people are treated in ways that are terribly unfair, and degrades them. Sometimes, those who are treated this way, doesn't really notice it so much them selves. Either because they are used to be treated this way, or because they are too happy at heart to see it. But those who are close to them, or have experienced some things of the same them selves, will. That just makes my heart brake even harder - the fact that they them selves, are too happy at heart, or are used to it so much, that they won't notice it. It then comes to us, we who see it from the "sideline", to make other people aware of it and, make things right...

Today, I read this story. A little boy, that has Spinal Muscular Atrophy (source) was so excited for School Picture Day. He has been wheelchair bound since he was just about a year old. He will never be able to walk. When his mother received his second class portrait in the mail, she opened the envelope with great excitement - it broke her heart. And, she showed it right back into the envelope again. Her son's class, all together in the class portrait. Her son so happy, and smiling a sparkling smile, he is completely beaming in the portrait, so excited for the photo shoot. Craning his neck as hard as he can, to try his best to reach inside what he must have thought was the frame of the picture. Positioned by the photographer, all the way to the side, away from all his friends, and his teacher :( It's heart wrenching, and I can't help but tear up as I write this, and think about it. This will haunt me for a long time, no doubt...

Image via Don Ambridge, used in the original story, & published with permission.
I can't understand that they could do this photograph without minding this. I would, (if I was the photographer) thrown away all templates and put him in the middle, with every one else around him! I feel that as the most natural thing to do. It is clearly mentioned in the story, that the photographer didn't do this on purpose, but that he just didn't think of it as an issue. The photographer also, eventually, tried to right the wrongs. Also, the boy's school has reacted very passionately when they were confronted with it. His dad said in the story that, "(It's a) general lack of understanding". It's well said. It's important that the society, children, school's and people understand how important it is to treat all of us the same way. It's a case of awareness. As our children grow up, we all try to teach them to be kind, empathic and good to each other. Awareness of, that being treated differently because of a condition we can't control our selves is wrong, is the first step. And when things like this still happens, it's obvious that it will never stop being important to spread awareness about it. It truly has to change...

When they did the photo shoot again, (yes, they did), the boy was lifted out of his wheelchair, and, having a caregiver by his side that helped him keeping his balance, he sat in the middle of all his friends from the class. Again he was beaming, as the new class portrait was taken :)

A friend of mine, has always been a "rocker", and a "party guy". Long hair, used to drink a lot (all though he has calmed down with that now), hanging out with his click of friends that was more or less the "scary type" for me when I was younger. Guys with tattoo's, listening to Black Metal music, well, you get my point, I'm sure. As surprised as I became, as well was his friends, when he took a real good education, and became a male nurse, to dedicate his life working with those who has more special needs than most of us have. I wasn't even aware that he took that education, and when he told me, I was so surprised, because it just seemed like he was so not that type of man, who would do that kind of work. And then he told me the reason, and the story about WHY he did it. He told me that, once he was in a park, during a really hot summer day, he sat on the grass beside a family. Mom, dad, and three kids. Two of the kids, and their parents, were all enjoying each their really good ice cream. The third kid, a boy, did not. He was strapped in a wheel chair. Sitting there in the baking sun, crying, watching his siblings and parents slurping up their goodies, my friend could see how badly this last boy also wanted an ice cream, and how incredibly sad and hurt he was for not having one too. And why hadn't his parent's bought him an ice cream as well? The reason breaks my heart so bad, that, even though I always will remember what my friend told me, I always try not to think about it: The boy had Down Syndrome. And, my friend heard his parents say they didn't give him ice cream because, as they said, "You just make too much of a mess with it"! 

My friend said it was completely heart braking to watch. Because of this incident, he swore to him self that, he would never let that happen, ever again. He then decided to take an education, where he could work with, and help, kids with the same condition. He INSTANTLY became my HERO... And he still is...

It's important to spread awareness of these cases - and try to prevent it from happening again. One time is too many. We should let our children that has some more special needs then normal, grow up, without almost being able to notice that they have them. When we arrive there, when those who has more special needs then most of us grow up, being able to go to sleep every night with out feeling sad of just one incident during their day, then we reached the goal that we all should thrive for. But sadly, it's a long way ahead. Hopefully, when peoples heart chatters over these kind of stories, it will make a difference. Awareness is important. Action is too. I'm glad I'm able to cry and tear up uncontrollably over these kind of matters. It's the way I am. And I am SO glad I am that way! May I never change...

Have a great week, and take care of each other!
Til next time
 


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