Have you ever used the r-word? Does it bother you when you hear someone else use it? If you were to replace that word in a sentence with another, what word would you use? Probably not a very good one. Which is why we all need to be aware that using that word is not acceptable and how offensive it is to those around us. It is seen as any other slur, offensive and wrong.
When I was growing up, people around me used it quite frequently to describe things they didn’t find to their liking. And it wasn’t until I started working at Stewart Home & School that I fully appreciated how offensive that word can be.
Many of the residents at Stewart Home & School have become my friends. They are smart, funny, interesting, inquisitive, loving, and loyal. In my eyes, my friends are my family, and I want to protect my family. Using the r-word is usually used in a negative connotation… describing someone as acting a fool or embarrassing, etc. As I think of my friends, I don’t think these things. I think funny, witty, insightful, and friendly.
As I talk to many of our students about our life experiences and hear the stories of bullying and name calling, it breaks my heart that anyone would ever call another person that word. I remember being called that word as I was bullied at school for how I dressed and how I looked. That word cuts so deep, as would any negative word or put-down. This word is not seen as a positive word and should not be used to describe anyone. My friends want to feel respected, loved, and appreciated, just as you would, and using this word to describe anyone should not be acceptable.
Let’s end the ignorance together and take a pledge to end the use of this word. Everyone has strengths. Everyone has weaknesses. Let’s focus on the strengths and speak positively of each other and be supportive. Let’s choose to lift each other up and highlight the good things in each other. Let’s choose to end the word.
Visit this site and take the pledge today!