Glimpses of a Book #3

The Reason I Jump

By Naoki Higashida (Introduced by David Mitchell)


It is an amazing book by Naoki Higashida, who is diagnosed with autism, in which he answers questions we have for people with autism, for example, Why do people with autism talk so loudly and weirdly?, Why don’t you make eye contact when you’re talking? or Would you like to be ‘normal’?.

His unique points of view, his rich emotions and his genuine gentleness are beautifully explained in the book, and it is truly inspiring.

Here are some tidbits from the book…


Q44 What do you think about running races?

“And another reason I don’t do well in races is that I don’t really get any pleasure out of beating other people.” (P. 118)

Q45 Why do you enjoy going out for walks so much?

“The reason is that when we look at nature, we receive a sort of permission to be alive in this world, and our entire bodies get recharged. However often we’re ignored and pushed away by other people, nature will always give us a good big hug, here inside our hearts.” (P. 120)


Q58 What are your thoughts on autism itself?

“I think that people with autism are born outside the regime of civilization. Sure, this is just my own made-up theory, but I think that, as a result of all the killings in the world and selfish planet-wrecking that humanity has committed, a deep sense of crisis exists.

Autism has somehow arisen out of this. Although people with autism look like other people physically, we are in fact very different in many ways. We are more like travellers from the distant, distant past. And if, by our being here, we could help the people of the world remember what truly matters for the Earth, that would give us a quite pleasure.” (P. 151)


I definitely recommend you to read this book, whether you know someone with autism or not, because as I quoted from P. 151, his words remind us of what is really important in our life, and make us re-think about how we should live. This book can help you find out keys of being happy, and maybe it is much easier and simpler than you think.

Happiness may have been always there next to us, all we need is to notice it.

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