“Michael is doing just fine at being who Michael is”

I have a friend named Michael who is four years old. Michael has a rare chromosome disorder and is delayed in some of his cognitive development in areas such as speech. I was speaking with his mother and I asked how his speech was going.

In a loving way she let me know that Michael is doing just fine at being who Michael is. I realized that my emphasis on the importance of language, instead of other forms of communication, kept me from seeing and fully appreciating Michael. She went on to tell me that though he doesn’t talk much he kisses and hugs quite a bit, and he doesn’t discriminate as to who receives his enthusiastic and spontaneous affection. Thus there are some surprised strangers receiving large and loving embraces.

After speaking with Michael’s mom, I realized that I would benefit from talking less and indiscriminately loving more. Michael never sees a world full of problems to be solved. He sees a world full of people to be loved.

Smile for No Good Reason, by Lee L. Jampolsky

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