Have you ever changed check-out lines at the grocery store when you noticed that the person bagging your items had a disability. Maybe it was because you were in a hurry, and you knew they would take a little more time bagging your groceries? Or maybe you just weren't sure why, but you did anyways. It saddens me to admit that before Antalya was born, I had done this on several occasions.
At our local grocery store there are two baggers with disabilities. Now when I go there, if I happen to get one of them as my bagger, I feel blessed. Blessed that my life could be touched by theirs, however small the moment is; touched by their gentle nature, their strong work ethic, and positive attitude they both portray. I think of their mothers, and how pleased they must be that their child is able to work and support themselves; pleased that their child has accomplished so much; pleased that they have had the opportunity to raise that child to an adult.
This morning I read about a tragedy that occured in the UK back in August. I feel outraged that such a thing as this could happen. To read about Brent Martin go to Chewing the Fat or click here to read the BBC report .
I know that changing the way our children think about people with disabilities must begin with us. I urge all of us to be more kind and compassionate. To teach our children to rejoice in differences - whether those differences be racial, ethnic, religious, or individuals that are just "different" than the way we are. I think as a whole we have come a long ways in equality, but the disabled community still has a long ways to go. Lets work together to educate ourselves and our children so atrocities such as this won't occur in the world our children are creating. For some great ideas visit the blog entry about Brent at Praying for Parker.