Last week, while attending a parent's night at his son Christopher's school, dad Bob Cornelius spotted a card the kids had been asked to fill out, completing various statements.
Next to the line "My favorite food is..." Christopher had written "pizza."
Next to the line "My favorite sport is..." Christopher had written "Soccer."
And next to the line "Some of my friends are..." Christopher had written "No one."
Simply heartbreaking! Which is why Bob decided to post a picture of the assignment on Facebook, along with a powerful letter about the effects of being excluded.
"For those of you who don't know, my youngest son, Christopher, is on the autistic spectrum," he began. "Never have five letters cut so deep, and they weren't even directed at me...it was just an overly simplistic statement that spoke volumes."
He then went on to explain that Christopher had just turned 11, and yet has never had a single friend in his life. "It's clear to me that he desperately wants to be part of the group," Bob wrote. "Because even though he can't say it, he wants to be included. He wants a voice, that, at the moment, he doesn't have. And he needs help to find his voice. And the child that will finally reach out to him, that will help him, that will include him, will be the kindest child: the child that does the right thing by going above and beyond. And that child will be Christopher's first true friend."
Not surprisingly, Bob's heartfelt words struck a chord, and his post has now been shared more than 50,000 times. And while the brave dad wrote on Facebook that he is "not so naive that I think this post is going to change the world," by sharing his son's story he has started to do just that. In the past week, Christopher has been inundated with cards, presents, and letters from readers who want to offer the lonely boy their friendship.
"This is a kind act. This is a selfless act, motivated, primarily by empathy, I would imagine," Bob wrote in a recent update. "And that is what the message is about."
An amazing response to a heartbreaking post from an incredible man who has helped make a difference not only in Christopher's life, but in the lives of many others. Kind of restores our faith in humanity, doesn't it?