Getting To Know You

You know that feeling when a new TV show hits the airwaves and the previews enticed you to watch? You make sure and tune in (or set the DVR to record), and you’re hooked. But if not enough of the potential audience is hooked, the show gets cancelled “before its time”.

As an Autistic person, I’ve got obsessions that I’m in-tune with. Before saying “oh no, we’ve all got that, Tim”, I’m talking about obsessions that border on or are perfectly in line with the definitions of being obsessive-compulsive. One of my obsessions is with good story-telling.

You may think that would mean I love to read books. While I do, I have to be careful because I get bouts of what I can only describe as vertigo when I read too much at a time. However, I’ve always been a better aural learner all of my life. So TV shows that use good storytelling can get me hooked in a heartbeat. Yes, I have been disappointed by come early cancellations of some shows.

“Objection! Relevance!”

“Counselor, get to the point.”

“Getting there, your honor.”

In the days before technology, even further back before the days of general modern accouterments, people joined together at the end of the day. Often times, they would join around a fire. Around this fire, they would enjoy the company of others. They would also tell stories. This is how you got to know the true self of others, and appreciate, understand, and enjoy them as a fellow human being.

These days, it’s easier to walk away “after one episode” if the content didn’t sit well with you.

In general, we as human beings need to tell more of our own stories and listen to others’ stories. We need to get to know the person across from us in their truest sense.

Taking this one step further, if you know someone who is Autistic, please don’t give up on them right away. Much like some TV shows, they take awhile to grow on you. They take awhile for you to get hooked. But, they end up being the ones you are invested in the most.

“Are you talking about TV shows or Autistic people?”

Both. But when it comes to the people, they are some of the most genuine people you will ever meet. Their motives are rarely ever self-serving outside of the desire to receive the same treatment as others. They will often return the same investment in to you, as they are able to process it and still stay level.

I’m not even saying this to try and create a positive effect for myself. I have the best wife, an awesome son, some life-long friends, as well as an association with many other good people. Taking the time to learn someone’s story is good. Taking a time to learn an Autistic person’s story is a blessing they don’t often receive. And if you give it more than a “couple of episodes” or just “the first season”, it can and will be a blessing for you as well.

(Any questions about this, or about myself, please feel free to ask.)

Also published on Medium.