Lena’s Thanksgiving story
What are the holidays like when you're celebrating with someone who is severely disabled? How do you shop for someone who can use very little?
My friend, Lena Rivkin, a visual artist and graphologist in LA, knows a lot about this situation. "When you have a sibling who cannot speak, make direct eye contact or give a hug, a Gap Gift Certificate doesn’t quite manage to bridge the gap."
In her essay in "Autism United," Lena writes about what she has learned and what she wants others to know: that simple gestures are huge.
"Holidays nowadays are more likely to resemble high stakes poker games or full impact sporting events or high spending reality shows than simple exchanges of love and friendship." And people don't usually know how to give to someone severely limited. And so most of us do nothing.
"As Edmund Burke said, 'Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little.'”
"For Phillip," Lena writes, "the best presents are silent, handmade gestures from the heart. The best gift I can give my beloved brother is myself; I design the needlepoints he stitches…."
Small attentions to someone like Phillip are also a gift to those who love him — and probably satisfying for the giver as well.
I hope you're having a happy Thanksgiving.
Categories: enhancing creativity