We live in a supposedly modern world, where sensitivity should have ideally made its way into our lives, psyches, and thought processes.
But it pains me to say that there are more than avoidable incidents of people being insensitive to other people simply because they are different or ‘odd’. Disorders such as autism are still mysteries to a lot of people.
Honestly, it is pretty crazy, since we live in the golden age of the internet where the information we need is just about a click away.
With that being said, allow me to tell you the story of a little author Benjamin Giroux. He is a resident of Plattsburgh, New York.
When asked to write a poem about himself in school, he very poignantly expressed himself through a beautiful poem about his autism. He begins the poem by saying ‘I am’, establishing his being, and it must be noted what a bold step that is! To take control of your story and let it be heard! As Hannan Gadsby once said that, ‘I have to tell my story properly’ and so Benjamin did.
Living with autism is anything but easy and that shines through his heartwarming poem. Benjamin’s teachers and parents have mentioned that even though he is not the most expressive kid out there, thanks to his autism, when he found an opportunity to truly assimilate himself on paper, he did not hold back.
Here is his poem:
“I hear voices in the air,
I see you don’t, and that’s not fair
I want to not feel blue,
I am odd, I am new, I pretend that you are too
I feel like a boy in outer space
I touch the stars and feel out of place
I worry what others might think
I cry when people laugh, it makes me shrink
I am odd, I am new
I understand now that so are you
I say I, “feel like a castaway”
I dream of a day that that’s okay
I try to fit in
I hope that someday I do
I am odd, I am new.”
His poem has been received with love and understanding all over the world. The National Autism Association made a post featuring little Benjamin’s poem on their page as well and since then it has gone viral. It tugged the heartstrings of thousands of people all over the world. He has talked about how hearing from people who are like him has made him feel less alone. People’s love made him feel like he truly belongs to the world around him.
His poem has been included in children’s books and songs have been made out of it and we only hope that Autism awareness reaches as far and wide as it possibly can.