Thursday, February 27, 2014

Words from the Wise - the Bus Pundit

Oftentimes, I hear snippets of interesting conversations on the bus. If I'm lucky, I'm even part of those interesting conversations. But the most interesting ones are often the ones I'm not part of.

True, most of the time the conversation is rather pedestrian. But today I was on the bus, listening to my music and trying to center myself, when out of one ear I heard something that sounded interesting, so I tuned in.

The man, a somewhat rough and tumble kind of guy who looked like he had seen better days, was saying something about his son, that I couldn't quite catch. But I heard the words "too young to diagnose" and then I heard him say "People like that, we should protect them and nurture them. Because when they're ready, when they're grown up, they're the ones that are going to freaking change the world."

Now, he could have been talking about anything, of course. But I don't think it would be out of line to interpret that might have been talking about autism spectrum disorders in some way. Especially because I can think of few other disorders in which it is more difficult to diagnose the younger you are, and let's face it, the language just points to some sort of developmental disorder.

So I was touched. I was very, very touched that this hardscrabble, rough looking man was talking so compassionately and so encouragingly - hell, maybe even in awe of and in complete and total respect of - people with developmental disabilities. And I thought that wow, if only everyone thought the way he did. Hell, if only I thought the way he did about myself. We might take a little longer to blossom, we might need a little (or a lot) extra help when we're younger, but give us the right circumstances and we'll change the world one day.

Some days, you just never know what you're going to hear on the bus. Wisdom comes from unexpected places sometimes.

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