Thursday, November 15, 2012

There will be better days

I am having one hell of a week.  One of those weeks that involves too many hormones, endless frustrations, stress up to your eyeballs, unnecessary cursing, and crying in public.  Yea, it hasn't been too pretty.  I'm in desperate need of a safe haven right now, but until I can find that I'll work on rediscovering some of my favorite memories.


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Why do we so often relinquish control to those we love?


We all have the potential to fall in love a thousand times in our lifetime. It’s easy. They all count. But there are certain people you love who do something else; they define how you classify what love is supposed to feel like. These are the most important people in your life, and you’ll meet maybe four or five of these people over the span of 80 years. But there’s still one more tier to all this; there is always one person you love who becomes that definition. It usually happens retrospectively, but it happens eventually. This is the person who unknowingly sets the template for what you will always love about other people, even if some of these loveable qualities are self-destructive and unreasonable. The person who defines your understanding of love is not inherently different than anyone else, and they’re often just the person you happen to meet the first time you really, really, want to love someone. But that person still wins. They win, and you lose. Because for the rest of your life, they will control how you feel about everyone else.”
-Cluck Klosterman-

Monday, November 12, 2012

Jogging for beginners


I had a great treadmill workout tonight!  Now, don't get too excited because I am not a runner, nor a jogger, by any stretch of the imagination.  I lack the endurance to be more than a fast walker with jogging spurts, but I'm working on it.  I see little point in forcing yourself to do something that doesn't give you pleasure, but luckily I've decided I enjoy jogging.  I like trying to push myself a little more each time, so I figured I'd run with it (lame pun intended) for now.  Tonight I really pushed myself, and it felt so, so good.    

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Day 2012

Happy Election Day to all of my fellow Americans! 

I know I said in my last post that I wouldn't say anything more about politics, but I cannot pass up the opportunity to urge everyone to vote.  No matter how flawed our system may be, we do have a voice and it can be heard!  In a perfect world we would all agree on the best way to run our country, but since that isn't the case take the time to do what you can: cast your vote and share your opinion.  If you don't vote, you don't get to complain. 

Election Day always makes me think of going with my mom to our neighborhood elementary school to vote.  It meant leaving for school that much earlier, but it also meant I got an "I VOTED" sticker.  When you're young a sticker makes everything better, right?  The neighborhood school was on the way to my own elementary school, so it was easiest for Mom to take me along with her before dropping me off.  Looking back, this little thing had a huge impact on me: it taught me to respect and value my vote.  I was lucky enough to be part of each Election Day growing up; and even when I was too young to understand what it meant, I was still experiencing how important it is.  I will always be grateful to my parents for showing me the importance of voting, and for allowing me to form my own opinions. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

An issue of humanity

This will be my one and only political post...well, heck, it could be my one and only post for this month at the rate I'm going, but that is beside the point.  This post is not about the candidates and their issues, not about how I voted, and it's neither pro-Democrat, nor pro-Republican; it is pro-human.

On October 22nd after a presidential debate, Ann Coulter, an outspoken conservative, tweeted the following: "I highly approve of Romney's decision to be kind and gentle to the retard."  Obviously by "retard", Coulter meant President Obama, and this statement caused quite a stirring.  In this single tweet Coulter managed to degrade and dehumanize all persons with any kind of mental limitation.  People have expressed their opinions on Twitter for the past 2 weeks, but I think the best response came from this open letter written by John Franklin Stevens, a Special Olympics athlete and global messenger:

"Dear Ann Coulter,
Come on Ms. Coulter, you aren’t dumb and you aren’t shallow. So why are you continually using a word like the R-word as an insult?

I’m a 30 year old man with Down syndrome who has struggled with the public’s perception that an intellectual disability means that I am dumb and shallow. I am not either of those things, but I do process information more slowly than the rest of you. In fact it has taken me all day to figure out how to respond to your use of the R-word last night.

I thought first of asking whether you meant to describe the President as someone who was bullied as a child by people like you, but rose above it to find a way to succeed in life as many of my fellow Special Olympians have.

Then I wondered if you meant to describe him as someone who has to struggle to be thoughtful about everything he says, as everyone else races from one snarkey sound bite to the next.

Finally, I wondered if you meant to degrade him as someone who is likely to receive bad health care, live in low grade housing with very little income and still manages to see life as a wonderful gift.

Because, Ms. Coulter, that is who we are – and much, much more.

After I saw your tweet, I realized you just wanted to belittle the President by linking him to people like me. You assumed that people would understand and accept that being linked to someone like me is an insult and you assumed you could get away with it and still appear on TV.

I have to wonder if you considered other hateful words but recoiled from the backlash.

Well, Ms. Coulter, you, and society, need to learn that being compared to people like me should be considered a badge of honor.

No one overcomes more than we do and still loves life so much.

Come join us someday at Special Olympics. See if you can walk away with your heart unchanged.

A friend you haven’t made yet,
John Franklin Stephens
Global Messenger
Special Olympics Virginia"

Regardless of political belief, I think this letter should be applauded.  This is not a political issue, it is an issue of humanity.  Throwing the word "retard" around as an insult is the same thing as saying that individuals with mental disabilities are second class citizens. In no situation is that ok.  People are people, and our differences are what make us unique; they are to be embraced, not ridiculed.

If you haven't already, please remember to VOTE.