If I were the kind of person to give unsolicited advice, I’d offer some to Bob, Suzanne, and Katie Wright. If I were that kind of person, I’d probably post it on the internet and make an attempt to mix witty humor with philosophical insights into the human condition. I’d make sure that most of the advice was appropriate for many people, not just the Wrights. I’d probably organize the advice into a list because lists are so neat and tidy. Of course, I’d have to number the items on the list to give it the impression that some items have more value than others, as designated by a higher or lower number. I’d have to present it as a “Top 10″ list, both because it’s been funny for David Letterman for 25 years and also because all ‘best’ blog posts are Top XX lists (just check digg). I’d title my list Shawn’s Top Ten Pieces of Advice for the Wright Family. But I would only do this if I were the kind of person to offer unsolicited advice.
Shawn’s Top Ten Pieces of Advice for the Wright Family
9. Remember that the term “Dysfunctional Family” is redundant. For all of us.
8. While I normally welcome events that may slow down the ongoing assimilation of the world by Autism Speaks, family fights are an exception. I’ve seen and experienced family relationships severed, temporarily and permanently, over similar disagreements of principle. The losses are always tragic. Make sure yours are only temporary.
7. Your issues are not much different from any family running a business. The needs of the family and the needs of the business are not always in agreement. When this happens, choose wisely. When you or someone in your family chooses wrong, refer back to item 10.
6. Your 15 minutes are over. Please exit stage right.
5. Money doesn’t buy happiness, and wealthy grandparents can’t always ‘fix’ things. Besides, the most important things to fix are inside ourselves.
4. I’m really glad the New York Times doesn’t consider the disagreements in my family newsworthy. (OK, that one wasn’t advice, but I really meant it.)
3. When it starts to feel like everyone is against you, you are probably your own worst enemy. I’ve been there and done that. Refer back to item 10.
2. The African proverb “It takes a village to raise a child” is dead on. However, don’t stand around waiting for the village to help your child. Instead, participate and help someone else’s child. And fund raising alone doesn’t count as participating in the village.
1. Don’t pay any attention to the advice of bloggers.