I’ve found as I’ve gotten older that physical differences, unique identifiers, personality differences and varying interest in people are what makes the world a better place. If we were all the same…it would be a dull and boring place to live in. White, Light skin, Dark skin, Tall or Short, Chubby, Phat, or in shape, working extremities or not, vision or no vision, we are all just people. But in life, I’ve come to realize that those same things that I’ve found appreciation in…don’t always mean acceptance or appreciation from others and I struggle to understand why!
(Look at the picture to the left) Morgan is so beautiful to me. She’s happy and healthy. Intelligent and caring, sweet and humble and these are words that I don’t even use when describing some adults lol. And no, I’m not just saying this because I’m her mother but it’s because I BELIEVE IT! Her soul is untainted, he personality is unmatched, her appearance is breath-taking, her smile is heart dropping and her eyes are big, wide and absolutely full of life and possibility. But I know her story, I know why she can’t focus when she looks at me, I know why she can’t walk yet at 2 (BUT SHE’S SOOOOO CLOSE), I know why she is still not talking, but she’s my kid and I don’t care about those things…because they will come in time. But what I see in her, what her family & friends see in her and know about her…may not be what others will see in her one day and that absolutely terrifies me. How do I start protecting her from things before they happen?
I was a bully (to a point)..not in the sense that I pushed anyone around or beat people up or called people names but I was kinda mean, when I was younger and that meanness was taken out of context. I was constantly over the top infatuated with my looks and body appearance and how I wanted people to see me that I would say mean things to people that didn’t meet or match whatever nonsense I had built up in my head as “attractive”. I had a habit – a very bad habit of saying exactly what I was thinking to those close to me. If I didn’t like the outfit they were wearing, I’d say it. If their make-up looked crappy (to me and I not now or ever have been a damn expert) would say so. I never felt comfortable around little people and would hurry past them or away from them (silly ass teenager…I know). I just wasn’t a good person sometimes and didn’t know that the saying “Words Hurt”…was actually true! Very True! For me, guys liking me was important and I used that as a level to gauge things based off how “pretty or cute” to them I thought things were (luckily now…I don’t give af about what men think) but back then it was everything. Thankfully, I never caused anyones death or suicide but I know I hurt a couple of people (maybe 1 or 2) with my words. It was never my true intent and if anyone knew how I was really feeling on the inside, it would have been seen as a cry for help but instead just caused a lot of hurt to them which I didn’t know about until it was bought to my attention so many years after that I didn’t even believe it, because I’d changed. Now i never laughed at people’s misfortunes or made fun of the disabled but still…the things I probably said obviously hurt them. (Yes, I’ve since apologized profusely)
Recently, I’ve seen so much bullying and society’s un-acceptance from anyone whose different. It’s in the news, it’s on the front pages, it’s on social media, it’s frigging everywhere. I mean the shit is out of hand (excuse my french). And it makes me so mad. I mean, from children to adults – it’s just EVERYWHERE! Within the past month, I’ve read so many stories that end tragically. That is what breaks my heart. That is why I wanted to participate in the NOH8 Campaign. I’m sad that this has become a reality – that a child can’t find solace in being a kid, that someone having natural hair is something to pick at, that those who are gay can’t just be gay but still be accepted, that color and completion (which no one has control over) has made for name calling and hate, and that physical disabilities like clef lips, vision impairments and body deformations have made them targets. I mean really…it’s crazy that no one seems to know how to combat it. Not at the kids level or adult levels. Not the principles and teachers, not the educators and specialist, not the moms and dads – I mean as adults – WE ARE FAILING OUR KIDS AND OUR SOCIETY BY NOT CONSTANTLY AND CONSISTENTLY – PUSHING FOR ACCEPTANCE AND UNDERSTANDING. (Some will say it’s hard to do in this country with the idiot we have running it, having diarrhea of the hatred constantly spewing from his mouth).
It’s sad that so many lives are being lost to senseless nonsense. Kids’s should be kids…Adults (well…) we just need to grow up some ourselves. But it all roots back to “acceptance”. Teaching acceptance. Teaching love. Teaching appreciation in the differences that make us all unique. Teaching young. Starting at birth and continuing to push for that as they grow and get older. Knowledge is key in my opinion to combating the bullying and the un-acceptance.
I have a huge fear and am extremely scared that one day someone won’t see what I see in my child and fearful that all the things I love and adore about her will be triggered for someone hateful to use against her. How do I protect her? How to I stop it before it starts? How do I teach her something that honestly at 2 years old – she doesn’t even understand yet? How do I tell her not to listen to them? How do I save her life so that my kid won’t be a statistic? This is my job right? I’m supposed to be thinking ahead about these things.
I’ve never understood why acceptance is so difficult. For instance, I don’t think my own mother has fully accepted me for who I am, even at 30 years old. Now, she can also just be slightly negative and so that may speak to why she has a hard time accepting how I am about things. But, taking her out of the picture – I even have friends who have expressed that either they don’t feel accepted or that someone they know or their child has had issues with feeling and being accepted. It’s just not that difficult to me anymore. Maybe at one point, I saw things differently but having Morgan has just changed my mind completely.
I say this to say…it takes no time to be accepting, while it takes more time to find ways to divide. Let’s all play nice and be ok with how people are…Let’s teach our kids to accept differences early on. It’s make for a better world – when they take it over. Because…they are the next generation and I’m hoping it’ll be a better generation than our current one.
Peace, Love & Acceptance,