The news these days is often depressing at worst and frustrating at best. It’s easy to let it get us down. Never fear… The News Blender has you covered. Once a week we feature Something Good and, in return, all you have to do is tell us something good that has happened to you this week, something you are thankful for, a joke, a cute animal story, an inspiring tale of heroics, a Random Act of Kindness… SOMETHING good.
Today’s Something Good is making friends.
Daniel Harrison is a profoundly autistic 16 year-old who has struggled socially. On Daniel’s birthday on September 28, his dad, Kevin, tweeted about how Daniel had expressed two wishes: to learn to drive and to make friends. Kevin requested that folks wish Daniel a happy birthday and hit send.
His little tweet got a lot of attention and ended up being the #1 topic trending on twitter that day, thanks to celebrities like Mark Hamill, who Daniel and Kevin both idolize, sharing it. In short order Kevin’s tweet got more than 54,000 replies.
Even more important than celebrity well wishes were the heartfelt replies from parents of autistic kids, offering not just a happy birthday to Daniel but offering friendship as well. Parents of older autistic kids who had started college and are doing well, offered hope that making friends gets easier with time.
Kevin said Daniel jumped up and down with joy when they read the replies. The Harrisons weren’t even aware that Daniel understood the concept of friendship and were shocked when he said he wanted to make friends. Then Twitter stepped up and made his wish come true, showing powerfully that social media can be a force for good.
As Kevin notes in the video, wanting to be loved is a universal human need and it is a beautiful thing when perfect strangers come together to help a kid they don’t even know have a happy birthday.
Daniel did have a happy birthday and Kevin intends to continue sharing his family’s journey and contributing to autism awareness with anyone who will listen.
Now it’s your turn… Tell me something good!