Jumping the gun a bit as I post the 7th of my 9 “Bona Fides.” I did not just develop these as a poem, or for posters, but to enumerate for myself at least some of the ideals I have worked hard to live my life according to. Yet, as much as I believe in these, for me – so far – the outcomes I would foresee as a result of the best and right actions, seem in my life not to be forthcoming. I have not based my wish to change on that hope that the world would change around me as a result of my behavior. My wish to change is based on my sincere desire to be the best me, and to contribute to the world as I might in those ways I can best determine that I can, working within the parameters of being me. There were/are though, always incentives to change embedded within the eyes and hearts of those we love. As we look to those we care for, love dictates that we would desire to be the best version of ourselves that we can, in respect of and deference to those ideals we find in them. This is not to say that we hold others as models of perfection, but that we hold the perfections we find within them as models for our own goals. There is always some hope, however, that as we learn and grow, and ourselves find those bits of perfection within us, that we might see those changes reflected back upon us by the world around us. And this is what I have not seen. As much as I recognize the changes within me, I yet seem to still live within the same world. One that seems as difficult and foreign to me as ever. And I don’t know whether that is a forever reality of autism, or something that I can still find hope to change as I continue to grow…
For those who have not seen them, my Bona Fides…
Live your life with truth and sincerity. Choose your dialog carefully. Speak only that which is honest and kind.
Keep your word always. Your word is a reflection of your character, and in knowing that, let it reflect well upon you.
Look for the good in others. Reflect that good back to them in your words and appreciation. So much as possible, turn a blind eye to faults. As we let others know we believe in their good, so can they believe it in themselves.
Care about people, wish for the best in their lives. Wishing well for others reflects the depth of tenderness, caring and regard you have for them.
As such, put aside all envy, understanding that what others have does not change your lot. Look only to do the right things, with the right motives, and you will find doors opening for you.
Keep love in your heart, and goodness and faith in your soul. As you see the world through eyes of love and faith, the world will reflect back its finest colors upon you.
Strive always to do your best, regardless of what outcomes you foresee. What is right in your heart is right to the world, even if not immediately obvious.
Be aligned with God and the universe. Be honest with yourself as you strive to constantly learn and grow. Look toward what you understand to make you better.
Have faith in good outcomes as you go through your life. Let not your actions be hinged to the outcome, but live in certainty that as you do what is right, what is right will follow you.
Bona fides is originally a Latin phrase meaning “good faith.” In modern usage it is used to reflect a person’s honesty and sincerity of intention.