By Charles Massimo, Founder and CEO
As parents, we all have moments that make us so incredibly proud, and we can probably remember each and every one of them. For me, the night of Thursday, May 30, 2019, was one of the highlights of my life.
That night, my son Steven, along with 20 other young men and women with varying disabilities, performed “Beauty and The Beast” at Center for Discovery in Monticello. Steven and his brother Christopher were diagnosed with autism at a young age, and now nearly 20 years later it’s so rewarding to see how far they have come. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you the difficulties the young men and women at the Center for Discovery face on a daily basis with their own disabilities, so to see them perform their one-hour version of “Beauty and The Beast” without a hitch, without forgetting one line or one step, was one of the most amazing things I have ever witnessed.
After they completed each scene you could see how happy and proud the students were of one another; rooting each other on, then high-fiving or fist pumping the audience when they completed their lines. The look of accomplishment on each one of their faces was undeniable. At the end, when the actors came out for their last curtain call to a ten-minute standing ovation, Steven stared out at the audience and for that moment I could just tell by the look on his face that he knew he did something very special.
People are much more accepting today of those with autism, something that was not always the case when my boys were diagnosed in 2003. I can’t help but recall the strange looks we would get when taking them to a diner or out to a park. It occurred to me the irony of the school’s choice of play, because just like the Beast who looks intimidating and scary, children with disabilities are often seen as intimidating. But once Belle takes the time to get to know him, it’s clear that his rough exterior is a just a facade. We as parents know that our children are really kind and gentle, and just need someone to give them the chance to show it.
The whole evening reminded me of our philosophy at CJM – where we view everyone as individuals, with their own likes and dislikes. We appreciate the differences of each person, and take the time to get to know our clients, and customize every aspect of the financial planning process to meet each individual’s needs. We believe that getting to know someone on a meaningful level is the only way to learn who that person truly is, and what their unique goals entail. That’s the human side of wealth!
Contact CJM Wealth Management to experience the Human Side of Wealth at 631.777.1030 or simply click here to send us a message.