“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” – Nelson Mandela
Overcoming Hate with Love: A message from Give Forward
Acceptance and tolerance are two of the things that I long for where it concerns my children and especially with my middle child. With her autism being what it is, I employ every public moment as an opportunity to educate and raise awareness. Ignorance, unfortunately, is all too common place where it concerns special needs children and the public. Far too often I hear stories of bullying, rejection, and isolation. Instead of taking a moment to possibly understand and learn, individuals immediately decide to shun and ignore. What makes her stand out, more often than not, sets her apart.
And for the most part, I’m more than okay with this. I accept this and embrace it. Her autism doesn’t define her, but it’s merely a part of who she is. She’s just different, but she’s not any less than anyone else.
Sadly, however, that’s not always the case with everyone. In today’s society, it seems, there are less and less individuals with an open mind and accepting heart. I worry, often, as she gets older that she’ll become the target of bullying. She’s an easy target, you see. Non-verbal, mostly a gentle and loving soul. So, that’s why when I found out about Give Forward and what they wanted to do bring love to a young man and his family in Ohio; I had to take the opportunity to get involved.
If you hadn’t heard his story by now, here’s a brief recap. A young man with autism thought he was going to be participating in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. The end result was a cruel prank, as the ice bucket was filled with spit, urine, and feces. As a mother of an individual with autism, I was outraged that such an unspeakable act of cruelty and hatred could occur. Not just because this young man had autism, but because he’s also a human being. I couldn’t fathom the values that those teens were being brought up and also prayed for them. I also had to wonder what those teens were learning to think that such a thing could be acceptable.
Give Forward decided to open a page on his behalf, with a goal of reaching 1,000 comments. I encourage you to participate, it won’t take you but a minute and all it requires is a loving and supportive comment.
And if you see someone being bullied- take a stand and speak up. Don’t remain a bystander forever, because you never know who’s life you’re going to change. It could even be your own. To read more about what you can do, I invite you to read: The Bystander Effect
* This is a sponsored post written for GiveForward, all thoughts, opinions, and text (not otherwise attributed) are mine