COMPASSION IS NOT AN APP
I remember when Melinda told us that we would be doing a series of shows to commemorate ‘National Autism Month, I was really excited. I was excited because I knew the perfect person to have as a guest on our show…and that was the one and only Jam Gamble.
Jam is a Special Needs Teacher, an Advocate, TV Host, Wife and someone that I know who has an extreme passion for those with disabilities. If you were at a party with Jam and made the mistake of asking her about it…You will be stuck there for a while. Jam literally eats, sleeps and breathes special needs advocacy. Why? That was the first question I wanted to ask her when she came on the show. Her answer was simple but profound: “because I’m human”.
Humanity to Jam means having a heart, mind & soul to see the person first, before their disability. It seems uncomplicated, because it really is. Having Jam on the show really challenged us to uncomplicate our views concerning those with physical & learning disabilities. “Just talk to them, like a normal person. See them, not their disability”, she said. Jam learned that firsthand when her Mother suggested she volunteer at a camp when she was a teenager, where she met and bonded with several special needs children. She’s never looked back since.
When I asked Jam to explain to us in a simple nutshell what Autism was, her answer was astounding. “Imagine that You have a radio and You are trying to get to your favourite channel but the frequency is a bit fuzzy? You have two choices: not listen to your favourite show …or adjust your antenna until You get the right frequency…that’s all.”
Did I mention that I just love Jam Gamble?
Those who are autistic have hearts, souls & minds, just like each and everyone of us. The only difference is in how they receive & process information. After that example, it became clear to all of us that we too needed to adjust our own antennas, of perceptions that is. The truth is that every single person with a physical or mental disability is a beautiful & brilliant soul that just wants love, acceptance and normalcy from everyone else. At the end of the day, God is calling upon all of us to simply have a heart of compassion towards others that don’t look or sound like us. And just like Jam said so brilliantly: “Compassion is not an app. You can’t download it. You can only model it to others.”
I encourage You all to think of ways that You can become more involved in supporting those with autism & their families, as well as raising awareness about the topic, Remember behind every autistic person, there is a powerful lesson waiting. There is a beautiful blessing waiting in getting to know them…and there is a wonderful friend who just wants what each of us want…to be loved, valued and respected. Thank You Jam. <3