You’re all grown up, so you know what the F-word is. Or the S-word or the A-word. Or the Z-Word. (Just kidding. There is no Z-word. Did I maybe have you going for a second there?)
Ever hear of the R-word? I like to think that most folks who use “retard” as a joke or as an insult simply don’t realize how offensive it is. But to the over 3 million North Americans who have intellectual disabilities, and to their hordes of families and friends, hearing the word “retard” is like receiving a severe kick to the teeth. Don’t take only my word for it. Actor Eddie Barbanell, who has an intellectual disability and appeared in the film The Ringer, says this about the R-word in a YouTube video: “It hurts people. Why would you want to hurt people?”
So for today’s good deed, how about doing nothing? How about not using a word that causes pain and humiliation? If you’re feeling the moment, go one step further and put your commitment in writing at the Spread the Word to End the Word website, where you can pledge never to use the R-word. You’ve still only taken a couple of minutes out of your day to do something meaningful that will make a difference.
It’s World Humanitarian Day today, so check out this very special short film showing humanitarian workers in over 40 different countries. It’s enough to make you feel totally inadequate – no, no, what I meant to say was, so grateful for the ultimate helping that these men and woman are doing around the world.
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