Working for the county department of education, as I do, keeps one aware of the latest theories, tools and techniques for educating and training special needs children and adults.
We have an adult special needs classroom located at our office so I interact with the students from time to time.
All of us in the office make a real effort to be kind and to treat these special needs students with respect.
Most of the time their proximity keeps me thankful for my abilities and those of my own children.
After several friends and acquaintances made me aware, recently, of struggles they were going through, I began to realize that I should be treating everyone with the same tenderness and sensitivity that I show to the special students among us.
We all have special needs from time to time that make us vulnerable and less capable. Since many people are reluctant to mention the trials they are going through and do their best to cover any obvious signs of their distress, it is hard to identify who might be hurting at any given time.
The solution that occurs to me is to treat everyone with that extra kindness and respect usually reserved for “special” people.
I was frustrated the past few weeks with a committee member’s lack of response to the needs of a project we were working on together. It seemed that this person was letting me carry all the load and I was becoming resentful.
When I discovered that health and family troubles had combined to make my friend’s full participation impossible I felt ashamed of my critical attitude.
Making that extra effort of kindness and showing everyone the same understanding given to the Special Needs Kids among us could go a long way toward blessing our own lives as well as those around us.
It might even be contagious.