Wednesday, March 2, 2011

End the Word

Today is End the R (retarded)-Word Day. I have thought a lot about this campaign today. I have read many blogs about how other mothers feel about it and I spent some time this morning talking to Makenzie's PT about it.

I thought about how I would write a post asking the world to stop using the word retarded.

Definition of RETARDED according to Merriam-Webster
: slow or limited in intellectual or emotional development or academic progress

First Known Use of RETARDED
1895

I posted about the first time Makenzie was "labeled" Retarded here. I want to know if you think that this little girl is..... Retarded



If you said yes..... I guess you would be right. If you said no..... you would right right too.

However, to me Makenzie is more then perfect and she know it. Her brothers, grandparents, neighbors, and most anyone that I run into on a daily bases thinks that Makenzie is pretty darn great.

While I would NEVER walk around describing my daughter as "retarded" I guess to me it is just a word. I believe we can perceive many things differently if we choose and we can teach our kids to do the same.

At the beginning of the school year my son came home and proclaimed that he had been put in the retarded math class because it was too easy. This class was one that moves a lot slower then the others and he was so bored. I sat him down and told him that the word Retarded was not a good choice because it could be hurtful to someone else. He looked at me like a deer in headlights and then he asked me..... why. So I answered his question with my own question. "Do you understand that people who don't know Makenzie probably would say she is retarded?" I got another deer in headlights look. "No!" he answered.

After talking in depth with my son I realized he had no clue what the word even really meant. I found out that day my kids don't know what many of the words they have heard outside of this house really mean. When my son said that about his math class, I do not believe that he was expressing ANY malice toward another human or had any intention of degrading anyone that may or may not be different then he is. However, he did learn at school or wherever, how to put that word in the correct context.

We DON'T use that word here in this home because it is a very painful word for many, especially the amazingly wonderful people like Makenzie who might think you are talking about them.

So to concluded my thoughts on this......

If it is hurtful to any one person ,whether it be the word retarded, gay, ugly, short, fat, poor, or many other number of words we use on a daily bases in this country to hurt others, it needs to STOP!

Before it will stop however, we need to raise awareness on how much the flippant, thoughtless, and ill meaning use of the r-word hurts a community of very amazing people. People who don't deserve to be called names anymore then anyone else does.(even if it may be true according to Merriam-Webster)

So today, I pledge to Spread the Word to End the Word! You should too!

www.r-word.com

Believe... Prayer Works

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