I have given up the R-word fight. I will do it no longer.
I am done, fini, the end.
Fights take so much darn energy, they are not sustainable over the long term, and at the end, there is always a winner and a loser. I don’t want any losers in this fight, it’s too important. I want to find a way for us all to win in this. The only way I know how to do that is to share.
So, I’ve put away my R word boxing gloves, and replaced them with a keyboard, and share my heart out to you.
You see, I once used the R word, because I didn’t understand the power that word held. I didn’t need someone coming up and telling me how very wrong, awful and hurtful I was for saying it. And, if we are trying to avoid those wrong hurtful feelings, why fire back with them? To change, I needed someone to help me change my thinking. I needed someone to help me understand why it was wrong.
Now that I have the privilege of raising my sweet Wil, who has Down syndrome, I know, first hand, how very hurtful that word is. A word is not just a word. I know better. I know better, because I know my son. So, to help you understand the hurt of that word, I want you to know my son, too. You may never get to know him like I do, and that’s ok. I just want you to know him enough through my words, that you can feel a compassion for him. A compassion for the work he has to do, and all of the support and emotions that surround that. It is not an easy life, but it is such a beautiful life, and it is very hurtful to have my son hear a carelessly used word to degrade that.
So, I will not whap you in the nose for using the R word. Instead, I will invite you into my son’s world, so you may get to know him. And, when that word is about to escape your lips out of habit, you will pause first. Not because you remember “you aren’t supposed to say it.” You will pause, because, now, there is something within you that feels it’s wrong. You know deep inside that it just isn’t right, and so choose to express your feelings in a different way.
So, come join me, no boxing gloves needed. Sit, get comfy, let’s have a chat, and get to know each other.
We are all winners here.