My intentions this week were to sit down and write a long-awaited and much needed post about ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis). It was going to require research and thought and careful attention to detail.
And then this week happened.
The world, and our country for sure, has been thrown deeper into turmoil. People I love are scared and I am scared for and with them. More than ever, we need love and strength.
With that in mind, I have to talk about how to be together. How to teach love. And this is something that is vital for all humans- regardless of race, gender identity, ability, sexual preference, socio-economic status, and personal history. First and foremost, we are human, and humans need to be loved.
To my left is a cube given to my youngest son by the Executive Director of the agency where I work. It shows photos of people of different ages. It shows people from countries all over the globe. It shows people in wheelchairs and people who are standing. It shows them together. Smiling. Being part of something bigger than themselves.
To my right is my youngest son. This child to whom we are to impart all our wisdom, chaos, silliness, and love. This child who, like all children, was not born with hate in his heart. This child who we already have taught and will continue to teach that people deserve love, and that people have differences and similarities. This child who is fortunate to live in a place where he has friends who don’t look just like him. This child who already knows that it’s okay that people look different or act differently, and that those same people are indeed his friends.
I do not say all this to puff myself up and pat myself on the back. I say all of this to you now because it is truly our duty as people, regardless of whether we have children, to teach children that the world is a diverse and amazing place. To teach children that we must reach out and get to know those who have walked a different path. To teach them that if they see someone in a wheelchair or someone who doesn’t (or can’t) speak or hear or see or someone whose skin looks different that this is not a moment to turn away because of differences. This is a moment to say hello.