For this week's Flashback Friday (hosted by My Tiny Kingdom), I've decided to jump on a little soap box of mine. This is partly because it will fit in well with this theme and partly because I'm just not ready to post pictures of my pre-teen and teenage self for all the internet to see (frankly, if all said pictures could just be burned, that would be okay...but that's clearly missing the point here, huh?).
Anyway, I've stepped on my soapbox, so here goes:
It IS the Inner Beauty that Counts! As a former teacher of children with disabilities - hearing loss specifically - this is a lesson I wish we could all learn and teach others, young and old alike.
Have you ever spent time with a person with Cerebral Palsy? Or Down's Syndrome? or Hearing Loss (let's just skip the whole Deaf/deaf/hard of hearing/hearing impaired argument for today, ok?)? Or Autism? Or...I could go on forever?
If you have not - do it! Get to know them. You'll learn very quickly that inner beauty is where it's at (and frankly, some of the cutest kids I've ever met come with a hearing aid or cochlear implant on each ear - but again, that's not the point).
The lesson that needs to be learned, is that it's OK to ask about a person's disability. It's OK to ask a mother what's in her son's ears. It's OK to ask a father about his daughter who uses a walker. It's OK to teach children to be curious and say "What's that?". Wouldn't you want someone to ask you? Wouldn't you want someone to be interested in your child, sibling, parent, friend? Wouldn't you love your child just as much if s/he wasn't able to talk well?
Inner beauty - people who look, walk, or talk differently than us have so much to teach us. Let's learn from them and from those who care for them. I challenge you, the next time you want to look away because someone is different, don't do it. Take a moment to learn about them. You might just be surprised.
And because I could go on for hours and never make my point, I'll let someone else make it for you. Read here about what you are missing.
And I'm stepping off my soapbox now. Have a great weekend!