As the Founder & CBIC [Chief Believer in Charge] of Different Is Cool, I wanted to provide a little insight as to why my husband, Yung, and I started this social movement.
Yung’s adult brother has autism. Â He has had it since he was 3 years old. Today, he is 36 years old.
Fast forward from his diagnosis date 33 years and what we, as a family touched by autism have learned is that our brother isn’t autistic – he HAS AUTISM. He is not defined by his disorder. But he does experience the world in a different way. He’s funny, he’s sweet, he’s a gentle soul. And he’s cool. [And as a person without autism let me say this – there are times that clapping your hands and making interesting sounds is indeed a very soothing activity. [See: yoga; meditation].
So, Yung and I started having conversations with a lot of our friends about being different – and what we discovered is that, at some point, everyone feels like they don’t belong for some reason. Be it race, religion, sexual orientation, the things they like, not being smart enough, being too smart, wearing the “wrong” clothes, listening to the wrong music…then later in life: the career they chose, the friends they had, the stuff they didn’t buy…you get the idea – because YOU can relate.
And so, if it’s true that no two people are created exactly alike, why are we trying to be like anyone else?
I propose we have been made different for a reason. Besides, conformity is so much less fun, isn’t it? ;0)
The coolest people I know [and the ones I don’t know] are those who have embraced their uniqueness, their quirky and awesomely weird nature. The people who listen to their own drumbeat in their head and make their own music.
What if we didn’t limit ourselves and others to a uniform standard? Who knows what we could do?
What I wish for Different Is Cool is not just for people with autism to celebrate their uniqueness, but for all people to do the same and to see that we are more connected to each other than we may think. Our differences are our humanity. To eradicate the need to judge one another for our differences, and embrace our differences.
As they used to say in the ’60’s – “Let your freak flag fly.” 🙂
And to quote a couple of guys who wrote popular music in a unique way: “you say you want a revolution; well you know, we all want to change the world.”
You are very welcome here. Let’s be the change we want to see in the world.
Maybe love is really all we need….