Can you measure passion? What is more important - passion or dedication? How can you measure either of those?
I'm not sure that there is an exact measurable amount that equals the ultimate passion or dedication. However, the push people have towards something is what speaks to the level of passion or dedication. Passion is the person who paces in their apartment for an hour over a decision that was made. Not so much a decision that directly impacts them - but a decision that impacts what they care about. Passion is the blood, sweat, and tears that go into planning an event. Not for the recognition, but for the cause. Passion isn't about your title or level of ownership over something - its the people who lay awake at night trying to find a solution or decide what if fair for everyone, not just what looks good.
I just got off the phone with a dear friend of mine, who has no direct link to Autism himself, just has dedicated the majority of his life to advocating, helping, and spreading awareness. He is probably one of the most passionate and dedicated person I have met within the Autism community - knowing him has been life changing for me, let alone for all of the individuals he helps. He is currently planning his own event for spreading awareness for Autism on his college campus. So, let's just stop - wow, you rock, Ryan. This kind of stuff gives me hope, knowing that there are people like Ryan out there for people like my brother. The fact that you took this upon yourself to just do it because you felt it needed to be done, not because it was a requirement for some class or club. Anyways, he is solely doing this to spread awareness and help people learn what Autism is - one of the most needed things in this community. However, he is getting pressure from other clubs for why their name isn't on the event.
Why is it about who gets their name on the event? Why is it all about the business and advertisements? Why isn't it just about the cause? Why isn't it about supporting each other toward a common goal? There is already enough negativity and ignorance out there - why are the people trying to help also participating in it? Why aren't we just moving forward and coming together to spread awareness for Autism? Why does it have to be about money or the credit - why can't we just do it because its the right thing to do?
How do we expect people to want to try and understand Autism when we act like this? I don't care how much money is donated to Autism Speaks or any other organization for Autism - I'd be happier knowing that every single person in the world knows what Autism is, knows these individuals can't help some of their actions, and is more understanding when they see such a person out at the store or restaurant.
What is the point of a cure? Of research? Yeah, it's great... but what does it really do for the people suffering from Autism right now? Great! You solved the puzzle - you found the cure for Autism - in 3016. What does that do for my brother now? That money could've helped open an after-21 program or give therapy to those who can't afford it.
It's not about the credit. It's not about the donations. It's not about the cure. It's about the person.
Autism from a sibling's point of view...
My name is Paige and I am 26 years old. I graduated from Towson University with a Psychology Bachelors Degree and from Johns Hopkins with a Post-Bacc Certificate in Education of Autism and other Pervasive Disorders at . I recently left my job at Kennedy Krieger Institute and began my Master's Degree in Applied Behavior Analysis at University of South Florida. My younger brother, Sammy, is 20 and has Autism. He is non-vocal, unaware of safety, is not toilet trained, cannot get himself dressed, and has difficulty with everyday activities that we all take advantage of. He works harder every single day of his life than anyone I know and he always does it with a smile on his face. He is my true hero and inspiration and because of him, I have dedicated my life to advocating and creating opportunities for individuals with Autism. I hope that I can make him proud and this blog is just a small part of the awareness I hope I can create about Autism and support other siblings impacted by Autism. I love you Sammy - thank you for everything.