Monday, October 4, 2010
Day 4 of 31 for 21 : Soeren Palumbo's Speech on the "R" word.Long but worth it.Promise.
We have gotten pretty bold here in this household over the last 3 plus years.Not that the word "retard" was ever used before Zoey's birth but since she came blazing into our lives, we are all the more cognizant and aware of it's use or rather it's misuse, by others we cross paths with.We are not rude,or condescending but we are steadfast in our desire and conviction, to educated others on the use of it.So we speak up.Each and everytime we hear it.We truly know that the vast majority of people mean no harm when they use it.There is rarely intentional hurtfulness attached to it and it's use,well,discounting the 4 text messages I received several months back from a family member,who was trying their best to hurt me at my very core.Didn't work however.My daughters incredible,perfect spirit,saw to that.But I digress.....
The use of that word is mostly out of habit.A bad one.I get that.But if we can just break one person of that habit,then it will be worth it.I am most proud of the two little guys.I have heard them with my own two ears, talking to their peers and telling them why the use of that word is wrong.They talk about their sister and her struggles and what it means to have Down syndrome.Which,on a funny sidenote,one child thought Down syndrome meant you fell down alot!We got a laugh out of that one.
Jake came home a few weeks ago and told me he had followed a boy on the play ground,who had walked past him,and was using that word in his conversation.Mind you,Jake was not playing with this boy,didn't even know him,he just heard the boy talking and took the opportunity to educate.How brave is that?New kid,literally,on the block and at the school and he chooses to stand way,way outside most kids his age,comfort box because it was the right thing to do.Amazing,uh?Jake said the boy just listened.Wasn't defensive at all but Jake went on to say,that the following week, he heard him saying it again.So,you see,speaking up won't always change the actions of others,but in the end,isn't speaking up better than saying nothing at all?Come on.Lets' make Soeren proud and be the change that we want to see in this world.Simple gesture really.With lasting consequences.