Welcome to “Athlos” a weekly blog which examines pillars of personal excellence and regularly brings together the worlds of Christian spirituality and sport.
“Recognizing the deficits in no way diminishes an autistic person’s beauty, worth, or right to be accepted and embraced.”-Casey Chaffey
My life’s journey so far has led me to interact with various types of people. Among that list, I have met persons with bipolar disorder, autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and narcissistic personality disorder. Through these multiple encounters and relationships, I have come to appreciate how unique, complex and wonderful the human species is.
I was reminded in more than one setting recently that everyone is created Imago Dei, that is, in the image of God. This is who we all are, whether we have religious convictions or not. We are essentially spiritual beings living in a bodily exterior, but we were originally made as image bearers of the Majesty in heaven. Have we strayed from our original state? Without a doubt. Yet within us all, criminals included, there is the capacity for benevolence, goodness and honour. It all depends on what we feed our souls from day to day.
With this in view, I truly love the perspectives shared by Casey Chaffey cited above. Writing through the lenses of ASD, Chaffey invited her readers to honestly embrace the developmental and social limitations that are attached to having autism. At the same time, she admonished her audience to recognize each individual’s worth and beauty despite the deficits. Being different does not make you less valuable.
Is there something about yourself that you don’t like? A character trait, perhaps? Something that makes you feel inferior? Be careful not to assess your value based on the opinions of others. Your worth comes from your Creator. You are inherently beautiful and wonderful because you reflect the Divine Being. So is that troublesome family member, the annoying co-worker or your quirky neighbour. We all need people to believe in us, despite our flaws. Become a visionary for someone who needs it and stand amazed at the manner in which your act of grace will come right back to you.
Together we can restore human dignity by seeing and treating each person as valuable.
If you were inspired by this blog, please consider sharing it with one other person today. To learn more about these and other related themes that promote the cultivation of an integrated inner self, read UNBEATABLE! which is available on Amazon in print and as an e-book.