Mar. 31st, 2009

"retard"

Mar. 31st, 2009 02:01 pm
rayjwinteraven: (Default)
Retard is not a term to describe people. Long ago, when I was a young child, it was used to describe people with varying mental challenges, but it has been changed. Now, we have 'intellectually handicapped' and 'intellectually challenged' and 'learning disabled' and so many other, more relevant and meaningful words. Even those terms don't suffice - I'm guilty of using them to categorize people, but you know, when you look closely, nobody belongs in categories. We are all unique and distinct, each with our own strengths and challenges. I am striving to view labels as a starting step to understanding, instead of the final discussion.

Today, though, is about eliminating 'the r-word' - <http://www.r-word.org/>. If you feel like throwing an insult, please consider something more unique, perhaps a Shakespearean vilification. If you're trying to find a label, please consider 'challenged' or 'disabled' or taking time to learn if there's a more relevant identifier, even knowing that it's insufficient.

Why does it matter? Some people say they cherish these labels for themselves. The thing is, as long as the words are shaped by hatred and disgust and flung like stones and missiles, they are weapons. When words are corrupted away from helping people to understand one another better, then we are all blinded.

We are all special. We all need support - unless you're a hermit living off the land, you need *someone* to help you have the life to which you're accustomed. Some people need more support, which means more people have the privilege of giving of themselves, and that is okay.

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rayjwinteraven

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