Like every blogger, I love comments. I read each one like I’ve just heard from a dear old friend and I ponder the thoughts each commenter expresses. Yesterday my dear old friend “Anonymous” left a thought provoking comment on my “End the ‘R’ Word” post ;o]. Paraphrasing, she said although she does not share the specific trials and tribulations that I face in my life, she found the sentiment behind my “End the ‘R’ Word” post applicable to so many situations… to so many other groups society has chosen to alienate.
Her comment really made me stop and think… And it made me realize that though the “End the R Word” has become a national campaign to specifically address the misuse of the “R” word directed towards people with intellectual challenges… For me, the campaign and all of my advocacy is about the usage of any derogatory language or discriminatory behavior and sentiment directed at any group of people singled out as different or less than anyone else…. STARTING with my beautiful and capable boys who happened to have been born with an extra 21st chromosome. I want everyone to see them and see each and every person they encounter as an individual with a life to live, emotions, loved ones, likes, dislikes, friends, family, strengths, weaknesses, fears, dreams and feelings!
It’s time that we all started to show respect toward all other human beings regardless of the number of chromosomes; regardless of the intellectual challenges they may face; regardless of their sexual orientation; the color of their skin, hair, clothes; regardless of the country their ancestors came from, or who they chose to marry, or NOT marry; regardless of what kind of car they drive; how much money they make or any one of a million other superficial factors are part of but do not necessarily define who they are. The truth is we are all more alike than we are different. The human race is a melting pot. And I do not choose to dwell on the differences between me and anyone else. Nor do I think that I or my children are better than anyone else — or less than anyone else — as a result of our differences.
The National Down Syndrome Congress has started a campaign that I absolutely love on all levels. Though again, it was developed as a movement to facilitate the acceptance of people with Down syndrome by everyone in our society — and I LOVE it for that — it also applies to any homogeneous “group” of people that is ostracised by the masses. Check it out:
We Are More Alike Than Different!
Please click on the link above and take the time to watch the video and then follow the prompts through the campaign screens. It is a beautiful illustration of what respect and acceptance of the “individual” really means!