“And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”
There’s nothing more magical, more exciting in a young child’s life than birthdays.
It’s that one time of year when you’re the star of the day. The one time of year when you’re guaranteed a fun-filled celebration in your honor! It’s a day filled with balloons and decorations; snack foods and a cake filled with candles; family and friends singing that familiar tune, and oh yes – presents!
But sadly not everyone is guaranteed such an honorary celebration. The other day I came across this story entitled, “Sheriffs Deputies Save Birthday Party For Boy With Autism After None Of His Friends Show Up.”
On the morning adorable little Glenn turned 6 years old, he could barely control his excitement over the impending festivities later that afternoon. From his mother Ashlee:
“From the minute he woke up that day he wanted to know how many minutes until his friends came. None of the kids’ parents RSVP’d, but I was still holding on to the hope that some of them would show up. It never crossed my mind that it would be zero.”
My birthdays were always joyous occasions I still treasure today. To have no one come to your party must have been heartbreaking to young Glenn. To be standing amongst colorful decorations on his special day, all alone, is a lesson in life’s cruelties he was far too young to learn.
The story saddened me and angered me all at the same time.
How could the other parents be so incredibly insensitive? What kind of example are they setting for their children – that prejudices are okay in life?
Young Glenn has Autism NOT the plague. He deserves the same level of respect and attention that every other child does – if not more! I say that because he didn’t ask for his disability – he had no say in the matter. How uncomfortable you might feel in his presence is your issue, NOT his.
You’re supposed to be adults. You should know right from wrong and that sometimes in life you have to set aside your own “disabilities” to put a smile on someone else’s face.
Frustrated by the complete disregard of his classmates, Ashlee complained about the situation on the Osceola community page. To her amazement, OCSO deputies and people began responding with positive messages and their shock over the parent’s avoidance of Glenn’s party.
In a true display of humanity, OCSO deputies orchestrated a helicopter to fly over Glenn’s home, pooled money to purchase gifts and even strangers stopped by with presents, along with their children, to make the day feel more like a true birthday celebration.
The Dalai Lama once remarked, “When we feel love and kindness toward others, it not only makes others feel loved and cared for, but it helps us also to develop inner happiness and peace.”
The Osceola County deputies, and those thoughtful residents who provided Glenn with a proper birthday celebration, understand the power of feeling love and kindness towards others. I’m sure they all feel a deep sense of pride over their unselfish actions.
George Meredith once said, “Don’t just count your years, make your years count.”
The above act of kindness is truly one that counts in this life.