Friday, March 26, 2010
Sometimes I meet people that fascinate me. I enjoy chatting with them and listening to the WAY they think as much as to WHAT they think.
That’s how I feel about Neal.
Neal is a security guard and quite frankly, I would have no problem trusting him to do the right thing in any given scary situation. He’s tall and carries himself with confidence. He knows what he needs to do and he does it.
He works the night shift and yet always seems downright perky when I see him in the morning. He is usually headed home as I am headed to work.
Neal is a part of our little think-tank group that rides my early morning bus. Before the sun is up, we can be found chatting about anything from politics to a good place to eat to our families of origin and the dysfunction therein.
What makes Neal so interesting is that he is so smart. He remembers details more than anyone I’ve ever known. At the same time, he can spout statistics and while I think I’m a fairly smart person, he will use terms I’ve never heard of which often leads me to ask what it means.
Neal has been diagnosed with Asperger's. It’s a form of Autism.
Doesn’t seem to hold him back in the least and I appreciate that. I reflect on myself as an educated, high functioning person and I can’t tell you how many times my issues have held me back in life.
I board the bus a couple of stops before Neal, when he climbs in, he always greets me by name. I like that. It’s important to everyone on this planet to be known and valued. Being called by name has been shown to be the single most respectful thing that you can do for another person.
Neal has taught me that people have value. He’s taught me that regardless of what you have been told as a child or what your perceived issues are, you have value and can go far with a bit of determination.
I appreciate Neal and am very glad to have met him.