“Its cool to be different!”

It really alarmed and saddened me reading a Facebook post today from a friend who’s a mum saying “please send some messages of love and support” their school age daughter has overdosed on her meds. Its hard being a teen having asbergers, being gay and bullied.

Being different, beautiful and quirky, creative, imaginative, humorous and wacky. I am quirky, odd, different, think out of the box, am random and can be tactless. I used to hate being odd, now I love it. I love being me, authentic, original and DIFFERENT. That self esteem comes with age, its tough as a teen soul in a conservative, judgemental small NZ town… its tough! It drove my dad nuts, me a creative, him an accademic. When will society accept the fact that its good to be different, the different people are the movers and shakers, testers of the norm, they change the world. They aern’t afraid to question everything.

“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the trouble makers, the roundpegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. But the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things! They push the human race forward and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see Genius!”

“Because the ones who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do” Steve Jobs 1955 -2011

I just googled all the famous Autistic and Asperger’s people in the world. Its really quite astounding, there’s hundreds, Van Gough, Wolfgang Mozart, Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton, President Lincoln, Susan Boyle, Bill Gates, various actors, athletes etc, go figure. They all have a different way of viewing the world. Which is a GOOD THING!

I received this amazing message from a mum at the high school my twins attend…

“Hi Suzie, I just wanted to drop a note and say to you that you have two really lovely boys, my son has Autism and started high school this year. We were really worried how he would cope. But thankyou to your boys accepting and including him, supporting him. He is loving high school, talks about your boys all the time. So just wanted to say a big thankyou, my son really struggles with been different and making friends. So these boys taking him under there wing has been truely magical for me and my son. So thanks and you have done amazing job with your boys”.

This boys mum will never know how much a message like this means… from one mum to another it was lovely.

Society will judge if you are fat or skinny, your race, your gender, being rich or poor, simply wearing glasses or not. You will be judged if you are straight or gay. My favorite uncle “he’s gay” been with the same man for 32 years. Because society likes to judge and label he moved across the world to live in London UK, back in the 70’s. To enable him to be true to himself. Coming from a staunch NZ Canterbury farming family to be gay wasn’t the norm and certainly wasn’t accepted to come out. Same sex behavior wasn’t even legalised till the 80’s in New Zealand. Who is society to judge and condemn?. Shouldn’t it have been enough that he was an educated doctor: clever, skilled, kind, funny, generous, loving, honest and trustworthy. That he paid taxes and was a valuable member of community and society.

Why does it matter what someones sexual orientation is amoung consenting adults, that’s private. He shouldn’t have to explain why he’s gay. The same as I don’t have to explain the fact that I’m straight “I just am”. That should be enough for society. I respect and am very proud of him. Recently he was invited to present a lecture in the middle east on homosexuals to Psychiatrists in an Arab country. Saudi, Egypt, Iran and Jordan Psychiatrists we there to listen. Its still illegal over there, he needed a body guard, so brave to speak out. He could help change the world, the main emphasis is teaching the psychiatrists that being homosexual is not a psychiatric diagnosis. Education is the key, being understanding is the answer. Knowing you aren’t always right and being OK with that. As a scoiety and as human beings we need to teach our kids “its cool to be different”. Life would be boring if we were all the same. Embrace your difference, to everyone else, your’re origional.

It starts from home… enjoying and embracing the quirky. Living with compassion, no judgment, teaching our kids empathy. Leading by example…

  • Teach your kids it’s NOT OK to be a bully.
  • Exposing them to many different types of people, situations, all walks of life.
  • Teach tools to be able to accept people, multiple points of views.
  • Be open minded but also keeping your own values, ethics, morals, standards and ideals.
  • Sticking up for others and helping people in need, be fearless.
  • Doing random acts of kindness.
  • Basically treating others how you would like to be treated.

As a mum with five beautiful children under 14. All so very different to each other. They came to me each as a blank canvas that I help fill it in, its my job to protect and teach them. Its a job I certainely take very seriously (I’m not perfect and lose my cool often, but that’s keeping it real).

The motto is our house is “IT’S COOL TO BE DIFFERENT”. I hope one day when someone asks my kids what did your mum teach  you, they quote that!


Love Suz xox