Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A Champion for Dignity

“Sticks and stones may break your bones but words can never hurt you.” I don’t know who said this ludicrous statement. Apparently, someone who never was hurt by words. In my opinion, their opinion could not be further from the truth. Words can hurt – a lot.

Our son has Cerebral Palsy. I am often amazed at what people say, either to me or in ear shot of my son and me. “What’s wrong with him?” “Was he born like that?” “Why does he walk that way? ” “Is he ok?”

I understand that people just don’t always think about what they say, but regardless, their words can be hurtful and lack an awareness of the dignity of others. Sometimes I am tempted to retort back with “Nothing is wrong with him, but there is something wrong with you – you’re rude,” but up until today, I have resisted and just let it go. It probably wouldn’t do any good, anyway. But, in an attempt to increase awareness of how words can hurt and vandalize the value of others, today I refer you over to my friend Jennie’s blog.

One of Jennie’s three sons has Down Syndrome. She wrote a challenging post today on her blog A Little Something Extra for Us, so I am stepping out from my normal “devotional” style and recommending that you read her thoughts – they are strong and passionate, as she makes a plea for “Spread the Word to End the Word.” (She is not referring to God’s Word, but the word “retard” ). Thank you, Jennie, for being a champion for the dignity of people with special needs and for those who love them.

1 comment:

Jennie said...

Thanks, Andrea. It's amazing how little respect our kids with special needs receive.
(Note: I did not say, "our special needs kids"...)
They are our kids first, and their diagnosis is less than secondary.

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