One sentence that I will NEVER understand is; “it could be worse.” I hate it. I hate hearing people say it. I hate catching myself saying it when I drop the dinner on the ground. Instead of “it could be worse”, we should say “it’s going to be better.”
Under what circumstance is “it could be worse” ok to tell someone? Have you ever noticed that people only say it under negative circumstances? Not circumstances that are inconvenient, but circumstances that actually cause discomfort. Think of the last time you dropped a plate on the ground. Did someone say “it could be worse”? Or did they say “hey, at least it wasn’t that dish that grandma gave to you” ? And while it COULD have been worse, such as it being grandma’s dish, or it could have had boiling hot food on it and landed on your broken foot. The point is; you don’t need to tell that person that the situation was not as bad as it could have been. I mean, really, what is the point? What is the point of pointing out that it could have been worse? Does that help the person pick up the dish? Does it put the dish back together? I didn’t think so. So what is the point of saying it?
If you are trying to provide comfort to someone, saying that their situation is not as bad as another situation, does NOT make them feel better. If a person is in a car accident and loses both legs, do you say to them “well, at least you didn’t lose your arms too.” NO! And if you do say that, you are a horrible person. No, you say “is there anything I can do for you?” So why then, is it ok, to tell someone that just had a child diagnosed with a disorder, that it could have been worse? It’s like saying “oh, your son has Autism? Well, that’s not as bad as Timmy over there that is blind, deaf, and missing a leg.” You don’t compare disorders. You don’t hear children with Autism walking around going “well at least you are just autistic. I’m Autistic and have ADHD.” No! The children merely live out their lives in the best way they know how. They live how they know how, not how others do.
Instead of comparing ourselves to one another, why don’t we enjoy one another. Instead of saying; “I wish I had her eyes,” think/say; “she has beautiful eyes.” Enjoy other people for their gifts and enjoy yourself for your gifts. Instead of telling someone “it could be worse” say “I know it’s hard right now, but I am here in whatever way you need me.” Instead of thinking; “life will never be the same after this” in a bad way, think of it in a positive way. For instance, instead of thinking “well, now that my daughter has Autism, she won’t be able to speak to me,” think “I love how I will be able to save every conversation we will ever have, because it will be over text/email or otherwise.” Instead of being sad that your child has Autism and can’t have a million friends, think “now the friends that he does have, will truly love him for him, instead of for his looks or whatever.”
We live in a world where we need what everyone else has. We have to look like everyone else looks. We have to act like everyone else acts. So when we have a child that is diagnosed with Autism (or otherwise) we are immediately upset and dread all of the negatives that come with it. And why shouldn’t we? We’ve read the stories about how the child with Autism was bullied at school. We’ve seen how people who can’t talk are ignored or people are extremely impatient towards them. In a society of perfection, there is no room for them. How did it ever get like this? How did we ever become so focused on everyone else? Why can’t we be happy for what we have, who we are, and what we can do? If this is your life, why are you so afraid to live it? Someone else isn’t going to do it for you. You are literally the ONLY person capable of being in your body, thinking with your mind, and performing your actions.
So how does this translate to someone with Autism? Because they show you how to live your life happily. They show you how to be you and to be ok with it. Instead of worrying about Jenny, who is playing with dolls, Emma is happy to sit next to the window and line up her cups in a row. She doesn’t care if Jenny likes cups, or if Jenny knows how to line cups. She does it because it makes her happy. Why can’t we live like that? Why can’t we wear a medieval dress to the store in the middle of winter and let people stare? And when they ask why you are wearing a costume, you simply respond with “this is no costume, this is my wardrobe. And I love it!”
Life can always “be worse” but it can always “be better” too. Instead of comparing our lives and saying they are better or worse than other people’s, we should spend more time enjoying the life we have. Just like the people with Autism do.