Owning what you have and who you are

More stories from Max Barnett


Everyone here on this earth deals with flaws and/or long lasting diversity, whether it’s a mental or physical disorder, or a chronic disease. Everyone has flaws, but instead of being ashamed, scared, or sad about them, we should be proud.

I personally have been diagnosed with high functioning level 1 autism, which used to be called Asperger’s syndrome. Instead of that being a setback, it has been a blessing. Diagnosed when I was much younger, my family and doctors thought that I wouldn’t be very social, and that I wouldn’t even have friends.

However, through medication and therapy, I’m one of the most social people at this high school. Due to the way my brain is wired I’m known as one of the funniest people around.

Though making people laugh is great, what is more important is opening the Overton window. The way I found happiness was being open, and accepting my limitations.

Though it may not work for everyone there is proof it has worked before. Nick Vujicic is a man who has not a single limb. This led to him being bullied by the the other students there. This put him in a great depression. Though this story may have gone very bad, Nick realized that he could use this for his advantage. He is now a comedian and a motivational speaker, who is spreading this word more a lot more effectively than I am.

Our journalism teacher, Mr. Frey recommended a quote to me from Game of Thrones that says “Never forget what you are. The rest of the world will not. Wear it like armor, and it can never be used to hurt you.”

Our flaws, or coming over them, can be the greatest strengths you have. So use them like armor. Use them as a strength. Use them as a way to make others laugh.

Accepting our flaws will teach others to do the same, which will make our society more accepting of one another, which in turn will lead to being closer, which may help us get one step closer to peace. Instead of saying one group is better than another, realize that nobody is better than the other, because we are all flawed in our own ways.

Opening the Overton window and setting an example is what I am asking you to do. I was a junior high student at the time, so I know you can do it to.