Poem Excerpted From
“Sisterhood of the Spectrum:
An Asperger Chick’s Guide to Life”
(Jessica Kingsley Publishers)
By Jennifer Cook O’Toole
This Beautiful Idea
So - I have this idea.
And I was hoping you’d maybe give it a listen.
My idea is that people need to say — out loud
the nice things they usually just think
and keep to themselves.
Like, “Your laugh is awesome. It’s all bright and shiny and wonderful.”
Or, “I love your wild imagination…you make everything more fun.”
Or, “It’s nice being quiet with you.”
All those real bits that slip by…
Big things. Little things. All of it. It matters. Because you matter.
I don’t know why people don’t do that more often.
A candle doesn’t lose its fire
when it lights another candle.
Same thing goes for us.
Telling you the honest, wonderful things I see in you
doesn’t mean I’m less. And it doesn’t mean I’m more.
My success isn’t your failure. And yours isn’t mine.
There’s plenty of good to go around.
So, I thought I’d tell you about you.
Because…you’re kind of amazing
in a lot of ways.
And maybe you don’t see what I see.
I’m not talking about big, flashy stuff….although that’s great, too.
I’m talking about the little ways you crack open your heart -
even when you’re scared
and other people don’t understand why…
Because when you’re vulnerable like that…joy sneaks in…and you light up.
I’m talking about your mind.
I love how your whirring, busy brain is always curious.
Always wondering. And asking.
And then imagining.
Because that’s how you’ll change the world.
I’m talking about your kindness. The way
your heart hurts -
really hurts -
when the world is cruel to other
people or creatures.
Because I’ve noticed that the kindest hearts are often the ones
that have been hurt the most.
And the way you turn pain into love without even thinking
takes my breath away.
I’m talking about how everyone tells you just to be yourself
Then adds - “…only not like that.”
And I say, “Yes. Do it JUST like that.”
I’m talking about how maybe being opinionated and strong and bossy isn’t bad.
Maybe it just sounds nicer to say
But they end up being pretty much the same thing.
And you’re passionate and determined and ambitious and driven
about the things you love.
And it’s amazing to watch.
I’m talking about being beautiful.
But I’m not talking about a “thigh gap”
or straight teeth
or jean size.
I’m talking about being beautiful because you are
in ways that have nothing to do with whether someone else includes you
or picks you
or even likes you.
And you’re already beautiful. Now.
You’re beautiful in the way your voice changes when you talk about something
You’re beautiful in the way your eyes crinkle when you look up at the sky
and feel small.
You’re beautiful in those secret tears you cry when you think you’re a mistake
instead of realizing you’re a miracle.
You’re beautiful in the way you fight and argue and refuse to give up on what you
You’re beautiful in every way that you are not typical.
Yes. You’re beautiful, alright.
You’re the kind of beautiful that only gets bigger and better with time…
a work in progress
And even if you can’t see it yet,
And you will.
And together, we’ll make the world a more beautiful place to be