This week’s story is from Joe Landfair, one of my dad’s buddies. From the moment Joe met Aaron, he treated him as the human being he is and with the utmost respect. He recognized Aaron’s humanness over any other label placed upon him. He placed Aaron’s humanness at the forefront of their relationship. Therefore, he is a rockstar in my eyes – we need more people like this!
I emailed Joe inquiring about his interest in sharing about seeing the similarities over the differences. Within 24 hours he responded with a heartfelt story that brought tears to my eyes. Tears of joy, because his memory embodies what we all can only hope for – our humanness recognized.
It is a great pleasure to introduce, Joe.
“I think the thing I would say I’ve seen from Aaron is how much he enjoys just being part of the group. Whether we’re playing a game or just hanging out, I perceived a desire in Aaron to be around others, interact and feel loved. I remember playing bocci ball in your front yard with Aaron and some people from work. Aaron was doing really well, he has great hand eye coordination. I could also see he was really competitive. As he had success in the game, we cheered him on and congratulated him on his good play. I sensed in him, a true satisfaction from this and a sense of pride. He enjoyed being part of the group, competing in the game and doing it well.
I think, we all as human beings, want to accomplish things and be recognized for that. In that way, Aaron is no different from anyone. We all want to feel included, to belong and have that sense of self-worth. I felt Aaron really enjoyed those moments and it was great to see him smile. He reminded me that regardless of the various gifts and abilities we each have, we are all human beings with common wants and needs. From this, I think Aaron taught me to be a little more sensitive to those needs in others whether different or similar. I’m grateful I’ve had the opportunity to know Aaron”.
Thank you Joe for your willingness to share such a beautiful memory. I certainly agree with you, Aaron has taught me the exact same thing. Thank you for so graciously reminding us of that. Thank you for reminding us when our humanness shows it’s just our desire to belong, to feel included.
If you or someone you know has a story they would like to share about an experience seeing the similarities over the differences please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Seeing the similarities over the differences is the heart’s greatest ability.
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