October 13, 2021
Connection, community, and friendship; these three aspects of human life are almost as important as food and water. A father was more than determined to provide his child with these, no matter what the cost.
The world of social media, especially Twitter, is filled to the brim with netizens canceling each other, fighting, insulting, and making fun of their fellow human beings.
However, now and then, these platforms can be used for immeasurable good, with the online community coming together to practice kindness and love to those they have never met.
REACHING OUT FOR CONNECTION
This sense of community is precisely what a young autistic teenage boy Daniel Harrison lacked, recently outlining that one of his birthday wishes was to have friends. The teen boy's father was taken aback by his son's desire, expressing:
"We didn't understand that he understood the theory of friendship."
The dad, Kevin Harrison, from Nottingham, England, took to Twitter and explained the situation, revealing that Daniel has no companions. He asked other Twitter users to please wish his boy a Happy Birthday and show him some love.
A STREAM OF LOVE
To Kevin's absolute shock, good-intentioned wishes and kind words came pouring out from all over the internet, spilling out over 55,000 messages. Many were from celebrities such as Kurt Bradley, Russell Crowe, and professional football player Dominique Wilkins who commented:
"Daniel happy Birthday my man!!!!!! Anytime you in #atlanta come to a@ATLHawks game on me!!!!!! @kulturec @nbacares."
Mark Hamill, well-known for his role as Luke Skywalker, appeared to be a partial catalyst for this cosmic explosion of attention. The actor shared a meme of himself mouthing the iconic "The force is strong with this one."
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THE SUPPORTERS AND CRITICS
Many other parents shared videos and pictures of their autistic children in solidarity with the loving dad and son. However, some provided some constructive critique, with Twitter user Fochti who is also autistic, responding in the comment section:
"This is straight up infantilising autistic people."
Overall, however, everyone approved of and praised the father's Tweet. Replying to those who asked what else they could do for David, Kevin asked them to perform one act of kindness. Many took this quite seriously, reporting on their Good Samaritan journeys.
A WIDER IMPACT
Speaking about the number and majority of positive responses to his Tweet, the ecstatic dad said he feels that it is one example of people coming together in a divided society. Kevin expressed:
"Everywhere, there's no middle ground. Yet, we found with Daniel's tweet and the story that there's a lot of beautiful, lovely people."
While the father was surprised by the astonishing level of attention the post received, he claims to understand why people were so drawn to it. Kevin put it down to the simple fact that everyone needs to be loved and liked, just like his son.
A MOM'S PLEAS
No one could have predicted the response that Daniel received, but these profound efforts at kindness are much more common than one would believe. One mother discovered this after begging for help when no one confirmed that they would be attending her 7-year-old's birthday party.
Seven-year-old Stone Reynolds had big plans, but none of his classmates were interested in joining in on them. Taking to a Napoleon Facebook group, Alexandra Reynolds asked her community to attend her son's party.
THE COMMUNITY COMES THROUGH
The response was terrific, with many happily agreeing to attend. As a result, Stone enjoyed a beautiful day with family and friends playing many games.
What can we take from this story? Don't be afraid to reach out for help when you need it. You might be surprised at the number of generous hearts out there.
June 14, 2021