I influenced someone different from me
When I first arrived at the school for the blind, they asked if I knew how to play chess. When I answered in the affirmative, they were excited. “Finally we have someone to play chess with Carl.”
“Wait, who’s Carl?”, I asked. They explained that Carl had a form of autism and also was allergic to chocolate. But, he loves cats and wanted to find someone to play chess with. That’s where I came in.
“You and Carl will be in this room together, to play chess.” We were in a separate room and I had no experience with someone that has autism, not to mention someone that’s visually impaired. Uncomfortable is the best word that I can think of, but that’s not strong enough.
The day of our first chess competition came and I met with Carl. He was very nice and friendly. He had a way with people. The Vo-Ag teacher even let him borrow his nice chessboard.
For the next four years, Carl and I played chess together. Yes, he was better than me. He claims to have beat me in three moves. I claim it was four moves, but that’s not much better.
We became fast friends. Our relationship grew stronger with every match.
In the end, I realized that it wasn’t about playing chess. It was about spending time together.
There is no price you can put on time.
The fear that I felt was unfounded. Do you have those same feelings when you encounter someone different from you?