I wasn’t born perfect… As true as that might be for most people, there are plenty that think they were.
My entire life has been a learning curve. Experiences, the people I have met, the countries I have visited, each giving me a new string to my bow.
I am inherently accepting as a person though and always have been. I love people. Having lived in a few different countries growing up, I have learned to embrace new cultures, accept diversity, and love people for being themselves.
That said, I also had some terrible traits which I now consider to be my “un-taughts”.
My personal deficiencies, my lack of understanding and what I didn’t know I was doing, believing or saying at the time was only wrong because I had never experienced otherwise – the lesson was yet to come. I continue to have terrible flaws, but who doesn’t?
As briefly as I want to mention my past, that includes the word “retard”. I used it frequently and without shame. I did this because I had no anchor, no reason to think it was a bad word because I didn’t associate it with anyone I knew and as much as people tried to point out it was bad, I didn’t get it.
Life certainly teaches. Experiences teach. If there is one thing and only one thing only I would ever ask of you and your family then it is this: BAN THIS WORD.
Please, please never use it again. I dread the day that one of my daughters hears it and I have to explain to them what it means.
If you want to keep using it then ask yourself this, how would you explain the word to Seren? It doesn’t matter if you used that word in anger or jest, how would you explain it to her, to her face?
Could you look my girl in the eye and explain that? The word that strips my daughter bare and renders her an insult. You are telling people that it’s a bad thing to be like Seren, that she is a nothing, she is worthless.
Think about it, consider explaining that word to my girl, or any other person with a learning difficulty – the thought must surely be horrifying to anyone with a conscience.