When someone is good at something, we tend to be a little more forgiving of their eccentricities. For example, a talented (fill-in-the-blank here – anything will do) who has an eye tic. Or an irritating little cough. Or who never quite looks you in the eye.
Talent and ability earn our respect.
That respect also means we become more forgiving of the little bothersome things. I’m sure you can think of somebody in your life who is like this. Your doctor? A favorite musician? Co-worker? A particular painter or artist? Or even a friend?
Happily, I’m seeing this phenomenon at work in our chess club.
My son enjoys and is quite good – for an almost-teenager – at chess. Back in September, we organized a chess club for his school, which now meets every week. For years, we tried various clubs to find a place for him to socialize (and belong), but none of them quite worked for us.
This did the trick.
The other kids respect my son, because of his ability. This respect translates into toleration for his eccentricities. He has earned a place in their group.
It does a heart good to see this in action.
It’s a re-affirmation that people are basically pretty good. They don’t just turn on the weakest member, or the one who has an irritating little mannerism. They can see the value in a human being, even if he or she is different.
This would not have happened in a normal setting.
Our AS loved ones are wonderful, interesting people. They’re talented and capable, and we know this. Other people don’t always get to see their strengths. Often, they only get the chance to see their challenges.
I think it’s important – for anyone – to get that chance to shine. To stand out from the crowd (in a good way).
And that goes double for our special, different, amazing kids.