I don’t watch a lot of television. Unless it’s guaranteed to make me laugh or possibly think, I usually skip it. A friend recommended a new show on Netflix called Derek starring Ricky Gervais. 

The first episode had me confused. It wasn’t funny at all. I kept expecting Ricky to turn to the camera ala “The Office” and make some humorous comment. It didn’t happen. And what was with the main character? I wasn’t sure what to make of him at first.

Everyone raved about the show, so I watched another episode. I’m so glad I did.

Derek is a beautiful story about a man with autism who has found his place in the world. 

As the parent of a child with special needs, this gives me comfort. “Despite how he looks, he is kind and sweet and sincere. He’s perfect. He’s just perfect.” says Gervais of his character Derek.

Though Derek is unique in how he looks and acts and walks and talks, “kindness comes along and trumps it all.” 

I’ve often said that my daughter is the kindest person I know. She loves big with all her heart. She’s a people person. She like Derek, she adores all living things. And nothing makes her happier than to help however she can.

I worry about how Avery will get along when she grows up and god forbid,
when we are gone. Will she have friends who love her the way we do? I can’t bear the thought of her ever being alone or unhappy.

Derek is happy. His friends see him for who he is on the inside and they admire him.
His life has purpose. He isn’t alone. This is my wish for my child— to be loved, to be happy and to find her place in the world.

She has so much to give. Perhaps she’ll follow in Derek’s footsteps and make her living helping others. 

Thank you Ricky Gervais for telling such a poignant story. Amid all the trash on TV, Derek shines brightly as a beacon of human compassion, acceptance, kindness and hope.

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