Today I read an article on The Good Men Project titled “I Challenged a Famous Ethicist… And Changed His Mind.” As I left my comment on the post thanking Kari Wagner-Peck for taking a stance against the R-word, I wondered if I should mention that I also have a son with an intellectual disability.
Why even consider it? Would it lend credibility to my comment? Worse, would it diminish the sincerity of my gratitude because her actions indirectly benefit me and my son? I opted to leave it out in favor of brevity.
But it left me wondering… If I didn’t have The Little Professor, would I care about the R-word so much?
I’d like to believe that I’d take a stance against it even if I didn’t have a personal stake in it. It takes character to stand up for others even when there’s no obvious personal investment. The thing is, there’s always personal investment when the well-being of others is involved. We’re all connected.
Is this an altruistic stance? Technically speaking.
Is it self-serving? To an extent, sure.
Is it the right thing to do? Absolutely.
What You Can Do
Spread the Word to End the Word is a collaborative effort between Special Olympics and Best Buddies to “raise the consciousness of society about the dehumanizing and hurtful effects of the R-word and encourage people to pledge to stop using the R-word” (Murphy & Schatz, 2013). If you choose to do so, you may pledge your support as I did.
Peace, love, and understanding.
Murphy, M. & Schatz, H. (2013). Spread the Word to End the Word Fact Sheet. Retrieved from http://www.r-word.org/r-word-resources.aspx/