14 Years later…

I am sitting here on September 13th, it is not an exceptional day, and there are no “We Remember” memes for today. My heart has been heavy since last week, and today I am finally working through the reasons why. Fourteen years ago, on September 11th, the unthinkable happened in our country. We were attacked on our soil, and thousands died.  It was horrific day, and I will never forget that day, and the weeks that followed.

I remember staying at work, because I didn’t want to be alone; then driving blindly to my parent’s home, and sitting for hours crying while watching the coverage on TV. I remember being terrified for my coworkers in the Sears Tower, and thankful that I only had to work out of that office occasionally. I remember my counterpart from that office calling me in tears, after they did an evacuation drill, and she realized that with just 1 person from each office in the stairwells, she could not make it out of the Sears Tower (from the 35th floor) if it fell in the same time as the Twin Towers. I remember our Sears Tower office being a ghost town for months, as everyone came and worked from our “safe” suburban office.

I also remember a country that came together in the face of tragedy. I remember people putting aside their differences to stand as one nation. I remember people acting with love, respect, kindness, and compassion for their fellow humans. The devastating acts that were meant to destroy our nation, seemed to only make us stronger. I was proud to be an American.

The list of lives lost on 9/11/01, which was published in the Chicago Sun Times

The list of lives lost on 9/11/01, which was published in the Chicago Sun Times

14 years later… People share the memes around September 11th declaring that they will never forget, but their actions show the world that they have already forgotten. Our country is slowing killing itself. While we still fear terrorism, it is the wars being waged on our own soil that should scare us the most. People are killing each other over race, religion, sexual orientation, ability, etc… Our nation no longer stands together in love, it is divided with hate.

Our country was founded in diversity, it was founded on a belief that ALL men were equal, and free to believe as they chose. After 9/11, people in positions of power used our fear to slowly change our country under the guise of protecting us. Now we live in a country where being different can get you killed. Our society (as a whole) has no tolerance for people with different beliefs. As I fight to teach my children to love and respect EVERYONE, the world around them shows them that if you are different, you must fear for your life. It is WRONG on so many levels! I am no longer proud to be an American, because I live in fear of the world my children are growing up in.

I do not post often these days, because I tend to stay offline. Everyday I log on to social media I see hate, disrespect, cruelty and judgement. It hurts my heart, and lately I cannot bare to see such negativity spewed. I will continue to teach my children that God created us all differently for a reason, because he LOVES diversity. I will continue to teach them to treat EVERYONE with respect and kindness. All while praying, that American people come to their senses before we completely destroy our country. You do not have to agree with your neighbor’s beliefs to treat them with respect and kindness. Just as they do not have to approve of your way of life, to treat you with love and compassion. If the Lord wanted everyone to be the same, and think the same, He would not have created us so differently and given us free-will. PLEASE stop trying to force others to live by your beliefs, and start embracing diversity. ❤

Have a blessed day everyone, and don’t forget to smile. ♥

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2015 New Year

I was coming on tonight to write about my hopes and aspirations going into the New Year. Before I opened WordPress, I read a post by Diary of A Mom, on her Facebook page.  These words caught my attention, and filled my heart with a multitude of emotions:

“If you’re autistic, it’s not abuse.

If you’re autistic, it’s not neglect.

If you’re autistic, it’s not a crime for people to hurt you.”

– Lydia Brown on the recently dropped charges in the case of two autistic young men locked in a basement in unimaginable conditions for years.

http://www.autistichoya.com/…/black-lives-still-matter.html…

On a day when so many of us are declaring our resolutions, this is mine –

To do everything in my power to make Lydia’s words no longer true.

I will raise my voice, and, more importantly, amplify the voices of those who might not otherwise be heard, to say this –

Disability does not – cannot – continue to be an excuse (legal or otherwise) for our society’s wholesale dismissal of the universal right to the recognition and respect of human dignity. Not in an absolute sense and not by degree. Because there is no mystical line where severity of condition, be it the challenges of autism or otherwise, cancels out humanity. Ever.

So while losing ten (okay, twenty) pounds, getting more exercise, and getting outdoors more are all great resolutions, this one is at the top of my list.

Who’s in?

Please note: The comments are now unmoderated. Please, please remain respectful of one another and, above all, the victims of abuse in Lydia’s post. Also, there seems to be some confusion about the quote above. Lydia, who is a tireless autistic advocate for disability rights, does not believe that what she wrote *should* be the truth. She is stating, in the context of these horrific stories of abuse of autistic people, the reality of our society and our legal system as they stand.

 

I read Lydia’s blog post, Black Lives Still Matter, from the link in Diary’s Facebook status, through tears. The horrific things done to these Autistic children were too much for my heart to bear; all the sadness and outrage spilled out through my eyes. Beth has many amazing friends of different nationalities, and I could not imagine these atrocities happening to one of the children I have come to love.

Lydia’s words (describing how WRONG the system portrays things);

“If you’re autistic, it’s not abuse.

If you’re autistic, it’s not neglect.

If you’re autistic, it’s not a crime for people to hurt you.”

struck a painful chord with me, because sadly she is as right about how the world sees our children, as she is about how it NEEDS TO CHANGE.

THIS is exactly why we had to take our children out of public school, because they made it VERY clear that Beth’s feelings and safety were not important. So, I am in! I will stand with Autistic Hoya, Diary Of A Mom, and hopefully countless others to say:

Autistic Lives Matter!

Black Lives Matter!

ALL LIVES MATTER!

Will you stand with us? Will you make the world a safer place for Autistic individuals, people of color and all who are different? Will you be the change we so desperately NEED to see in the world for these individuals to receive the Respect, Kindness and Dignity these deserve? Different NOT Less! ❤

 

Have a blessed day everyone, and don’t forget to smile. ♥

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All Lives Matter

My heart is heavy, when I think of the sad place our world is of late.

I see all the horrible news stories.

I see countless, senseless tragedies.

I see the sanctity of life disregarded time and time again.

I see the parents, who have lost their children.

I see the children, who have lost their parents.

I see a lot of “_______ Lives Matters” memes, where only one group is identified as being worthy of life.

What I would love to see is simply ALL LIVES MATTER. It does not matter what someone’s race, religion, ability, job, sexual orientation, age, etc… is, ALL LIFE MATTERS.

This is what I teach my girls, and the mindset of ALL LIVES MATTER is what I pray for daily. #SpeakLife with Respect and Kindness, because #AllLivesMatter.

Please be the change you want to see in the world and remember ALL life is sacred. Our job is not to judge, but to love, please leave the judgement up to God.

 

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Serenity Spectrum is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.