How many times have you checked your phone and facebook, when it has not rung, or you have not received a text message or even a ping on any of the social media? Now, think about those weekends you look forward to, because you get to hang out with your friends, go a party, spend time with your loved ones - when you can just be you, let loose, spend some quality time with those that are "your pack". Did it brighten up your thoughts for even one second? Did it put a smile on your face thinking of your goofy friend or your lovely loved one ? A warm rush of endorphins would have coursed through you thinking of those happy moments, regardless of the type of day you are having right now. Don't we all deserve to experience those "happy moments" - those moments of companionship, togetherness, to have those that we can call our own .... those that every one of us can gush over and with that same warm feeling of belonging announce this is "My PACK" ?!!! Unfortunately, "differences" can be isolating - because we generally bond over common topics of interest, commonalities among ourselves and when someone is "different" or "disabled" in our perception, we are limited in our understanding of their "differences" and they are limited in their expression of their "desire to belong". Further, as individuals with differences, disabilities begin to grow older, their circle of natural supports also begin to slowly disappear, parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts all begin to age and fade, and when the only people that someone who is different, has known to be their circle of support all their life, begin to lose the ability to support them due to age, health etc, and eventually pass on, it is devastating for the individual with differences to be faced with a life of harsh loneliness. Remember that time when you just felt all alone, with no one to understand you, to check up on you, when no one bothered to call or text, or even show up for you - now imagine having to deal with that ALL YOUR LIFE ? Heartbreaking, isn't it ?
This is why we introduced the "Pragnya Ally Circle of Kindness" - so, everyone, regardless of their (dis)ability or difference has an opportunity to experience that belonging and say, this is "My PACK" with pride. Every weekend, we meet, Neurotypical Adult allies and our Neurodiverse peers and spend quality time together : Hiking Brunching Shopping Going to the Movies Volunteering and engaging in Service activities Cooking together Celebrating at Events, Birthdays etc. Typically, MyPACK events happen Saturday mornings / afternoons and last a couple of hours. Anyone over the age of 18 can be part of MyPACK - as an Ally or as an enrolled Neurodiverse individual. Activities are all planned based on input from the group members. We all belong together and it is up to each and every one of us to build that sense of community and belonging among every single one of us, including every one, regardless of their difference - because for the limited moments we come into this world, spending those moments "together" is always better.