One of my favorite movies is “A Beautiful Mind”. The story of John Forbes Nash’s brilliant mind and his struggles with schizophrenia is not only heart warming but has also been a key to my perspective with Daniel.
The key moment in the movie for me is at the end when Thomas King approaches Nash after class to tell him he has been nominated for the Nobel Prize in Economics. Nash excuses himself from King for a moment to stop one of his exiting students and pointing to King says, “Do you see a man here?” The student nods yes. Nash apologizes and they begin to walk together.
Here was a man who did not succumb to schizophrenia, pout about the difficulty, or insist that his version of the world had to be accepted by others. Rather, he found outside objective criteria to help him see the world as it was to everyone else and to find a way that would allow him to function in that world. When his version of the box didn’t work, he found a way out of it. He was unashamed.
When Daniel struggles because the world doesn’t make sense to him or he doesn’t make sense to the world around him, I think about this scene. I try to help Daniel find guidelines that will allow him to connect with the world around him in a meaningful way. These guidelines help keep him from ostracizing the world around him as well as accurately express himself to the people in it.