We enjoyed a rare good-news story in Australia yesterday, when an 11-year-old boy was found safe and relatively well after being missing for 5 days in Victorian bushland. I hope The Age newspaper doesn’t mind me using their photo of Luke’s reunion with his mother:
I defy you not to feel a rush of joy when the rescue workers scramble down the hill to him .
I am not alone in wondering whether his safe passage may in large part be due to the characteristic we normally call “disability”. Luke has autism, so being single-minded and comfortable for hours in his own company probably made his parents’ 5-day nightmare seem like one heck of an adventure, when most other children would have been thrown into a panic and perhaps even given up.
One shining example of why all of us have an equal place in the world, each bringing different gifts to the party. I firmly believe that my depression and PTSD make me a more effective leader, and now I hope Luke goes on to break new ground in whichever field of endeavour he chooses.
But for his family’s sake, perhaps they should arm him with a flare for their next camping trip .