All you have to do is look around at the world. Look at all of the tragedy and despair. People are dying, often at the hands of others. People are being hurt and abused. People are being mistreated and lives are being torn apart. I have closely followed the news, just like many of you, and I could say so much about the horror of the most recent current events. I started to, actually, write a post about those events. I decided that we needed something else instead. I decided that we all needed a story to restore our faith in humanity.
I attended a high school prom this weekend. Not because I wanted to relive my youth, but because I was assisting a student with autism. He had been asked to prom by a young lady in his class. She wanted to be sure that he could have the opportunity to be involved in this night, a memorable moment in any student’s education. So, she contacted his parents and they made plans that would allow him to experience life as a typical high school boy.
He rented a tux. He bought a corsage. They made dinner plans with a group of classmates. He practiced dancing and reviewed etiquette. And this past weekend, the big night was here.
She looked stunning. He was so handsome. And they danced the night away. They slow danced, they fast danced, they danced together and in a big group of people. All around him were young people, eager to make this an enjoyable experience for him. When he needed to take a walk because the music and lights were too much, no one ridiculed him or judged him. When he didn’t know all of the popular dances, no one made him feel unwelcome. In fact, he was brought into the group and taught, step by step, so that he could join in. When his dance moves didn’t look a thing like any one else’s, no one laughed; they just danced, right next to him. He didn’t sit down for two hours. By the time it was time for him to leave, he had danced himself into exhaustion. He was definitely tired and ready to get off of his feet.
It was one of the most incredible nights I’ve ever had the opportunity to be a part of. This young man, who fits none of society’s norms. He doesn’t understand the right things to say or the popular ways to act. He doesn’t hang out with these kids on the weekends or go out on dates. He doesn’t know the songs or the dances. It didn’t matter. Saturday night, for a few of the best hours of his life, he was just a boy. His classmates, these high school seniors, not yet adults, they made sure of it. He was one of them.
Society could learn a thing or two from this amazing group of kids. They don’t have all of the right answers, they have so much yet to learn…. but this, they’ve got this right. And I pray that as they grow and change, as they become adults and leave high school far behind; I pray that this is something they take with them. Because this is something they got so incredibly right.