Friday, October 5, 2012

a word

What's in a word? What value can words hold? How dangerous can they be?  They can kill.  They can uplift.  They can damage and harm one person or millions.  I'm struck today specifically by the reality that our world is so filled with many words that are painful.  Calling a 16 year old girl fat- can change her destiny and spiral her downward into a world of eating disorders.  Telling a man he is weak, can change his psyche and enrage him to someone you don't want to see.  You see words have power, so much more power than any of us realize.  How we choose to get up in the morning, using words and phrases throughout the day to spread negativity or positive energy.  It's all a choice.  I use words freely, crassly, and carelessly...often.  I am not proud of that fact.  Since having our first child with special needs, Retard has held a new place in our life.  It no longer seems funny thrown around loosely in conversation when referencing forgetting things at a store, messing up our computer, writing something quickly and making a mistake.  This word goes the distance, touching hearts in moms and dads and children around the world.  When it is said, my heart bleeds, it feels like physical pain, because it is our son, you reference so carelessly.  It is his future that you take a notch out of, every time it is written, spoken or joked about it.  It is a harsh reality that YOU are not aware of; because if YOU were, I KNOW you would never, ever say it, laugh about it, listen to it again.  Ever.  If you could see the scars all over us that you were helping to create, you would bury that in your mind forever and if you heard it, instead of laughing or ignoring the source, you would STAND UP for our boy.  You would stop that person delivering that joke and explain to them the wound they cause by using it.  I know YOU would.  You would stop and remind yourself of your own precious children and God forbid ANYTHING ever happening to them and the pain you would feel hearing something so awful being thrown around in regards to their precious soul.

A painful reality of our life is how uncomfortable we feel in having to correct you.  In having to ASK you not to use that word.  And even more so in asking that you gently guide others to do the same.  Because we don't want to be "those people" that are no longer funny.  That can't take a joke.  That get annoyed at every little thing.  Because we aren't.  And if you know us, you know that.  Anyone that knows me knows that I say offensive, off the cuff things  So, I know that you know this isn't that.  We have a job as parents.  All of us.  To stand for our babies, make them proud and make this world the best place for them to live in.  In doing that we all hold this responsibility close and try our best, I believe that.  So believe me.  Trust me.  You don't want to be the guy that thinks it's funny to make fun of our boy.  It's you that looks less than.  You that is in fact not bright, because with the vast vocabulary that your "perfect" brain was given, for God's sake...USE IT.  Find a different word.  Laugh at something else- not someone.  I know you can do this.  I know you will do this for us. For Nolan and EJ and all the other children that only want your love and acceptance.  They ask nothing from you.  Please don't make use keep asking something of you.  Change today and forever.


  1. Excellent post! I hate having to ask people not to use that word also...I don't want to come off as an overly sensitive Mom...BUT, I love my son and I want him to be surrounded by people who respect him and others with Disabilities...So over sensitive or not, I will stand up for him and ask people not to use that word because it's hurtful.


Come on- spill it, share it, scream it, shout it, I want to hear it...really!