Day #248 – The Problem with THAT Story

I’ve been contemplating this post for quite some time.

I’ve been trying to ignore the thoughts.

Then, it happened again.

And again.

And again.

I’m warning you – this may change how you perceive really ‘heartwarming’ stories. Feel free to stop reading now.

That was your warning.  Here it comes…

It continues to come across my news feed until I ‘give in’ and read.

High School QB Takes Friend With Down Syndrome To Prom, Fulfilling 4th-Grade Pact

In fourth grade, Ben Moser told his mother he would be taking Mary Lapkowicz to the prom. Seven years later, it happened.

For a moment my heart is filled with all the good stuff that is left in humanity.

Then, I’m left irritated.

The next story has been floating around since 2013 and has been forwarded to me by several people.

Prom a memorable night for teen with autism – and his parents

When Jon Larson was diagnosed with autism more than 16 years ago, his parents formed a mental list of all the things he would never do: Play on the football team. Get married. Go to prom.

For a moment my heart is filled with all the good stuff that is left in humanity.

Then, I’m left irritated.

It happened in our own school district a couple of years ago.  The headline…

‘She loves life’: Teen with cerebral palsy named homecoming queen

Courtney Tharp’s fellow high school students aren’t at all surprised that she was named homecoming queen this week. They love her smile, her enthusiasm and her upbeat attitude about everything. Who cares if she struggles with fine motor skills or has some speech difficulties?

For a moment my heart is filled with all the good stuff that is left in humanity.

Then, I’m left irritated.

Folks in our district were so proud that our students did this.  I’m not trying to take away the goodness, but there is an inherit issue here that very few people are willing to admit.

I know, I know – I should be SO happy that teens are SO accepting of differently abled folks.  I should be SO happy that we’re getting better at awareness and acceptance.  I am…but it doesn’t change one small (or really kinda big) fact.

Why is this news?

Is it news because someone was thoughtful?
That’s troublesome…
Shouldn’t our default be thoughtfulness?

It is news because it is unique?
That’s troublesome…
Shouldn’t we all be working to care for each other?

Is it news because these are teens?
That’s troublesome…
Shouldn’t our default be teaching them acceptance from an early age?

Is it news because someone who is differently abled was able to participate in something typical people do?
That’s troublesome…
Shouldn’t our default be equal opportunity?

Of course, I want all of us to continue to work towards awareness and acceptance of all people – but here is my challenge.

The next time you read one those stories, dig down a little deeper.  Ask yourself this question, “Why does reading about someone experiencing something the majority of us already do make us feel so good?  Wouldn’t it be better if it wasn’t ‘news?'”

Maybe that’s what we should work toward…equal opportunity not being the news, but simply being the norm.

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8 thoughts on “Day #248 – The Problem with THAT Story

  1. Great read! And I agree…why should it be news? Why draw even more attention to the obvious. I found your blog through the “motherhood” tag. I was wondering if you would like to be a part of a linky? It’s a great way to get your blog read by others and to find new blogs to read. I will share all blog posts across my social media as well which in turn can lead to new followers! If you are interested please click the link and follow the instructions on my blog…it’s super easy! Hope to see your there! http://wp.me/p5fmoJ-i7

    Like

    • Thank you! It’s a sad day when our happiness is on the backs of others who are less privileged…

      I’ll definitely check this link out – thank you for the information!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Day #327 – Indexing | 366 Days of Autism

  3. Pingback: Day #353 – Watch This! | 366 Days of Autism

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