Meet Owen, Aidan’s cousin. In our family we like to point out that Owen is a Lover not a Fighter. There is no one who loves Aidan quite the way Owen does. Owen is 13 years old and never misses an opportunity to go in for a forhead kiss with Aidan. Without training, without a degree, without it being written in a legal document, Owen includes Aidan because kids are awesome and we should learn from them. So here’s what Owen had to say about his cousin…..
56.7 million people in the USA have a disability. My cousin Aidan is 1 out of that 56.7 million. Aidan is a 15 year old boy that lives in Maine. He can not walk or speak the way we do. This is all caused by a mutation in the PURA gene. He has the brightest blue eyes that can be seen from a mile away. He is always roaming around in his wheelchair with a big smile. Aidan has changed my life in so many ways.
One of the biggest ways Aidan has changed me is by teaching me compassion. The dictionary defines compassion as “sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others.” Aidan has taught me to care about others. For example, one time my friend fell and broke his leg. I had to call his mom and call the ambulance. Another example where I showed compassion was when my friend was feeling down and really needed someone to talk to. I took some time from my day to listen to him. Aidan taught me how important all of these things are.
He instilled a value of nonjudgment in me. Judging someone is something that everyone does. It keeps people away from each other and it is also very hurtful. When I was little I saw a little girl in a wheelchair at the grocery store. When I first saw her I was nervous and uncomfortable. I thought this because I didn’t want to say or do the wrong thing. I thought I would judge that little girl. But knowing Aidan, I knew not to judge because there is always something under that first layer of someone.
Lastly, he enlightened me on how to be happy and have gratitude. Whenever I am around him I feel so happy. He opened my eyes to show gratitude. After spending time with him he taught me that I have a lot to be thankful for and not all people have it as good as me. He won’t have all of the milestones as me. He might not be able to go to college and get his first job. He also taught me to enjoy the little things. I should always feel lucky and happy because I was blessed to be me.
We have at least one person that has changed our life for the better. Aidan is that person to me. He taught me to show compassion. He also taught me to not judge someone by their cover. Lastly he taught me to stay happy and to have gratitude.
Who is that one person to you that has changed your life?