Accepting those who are different

Jessica - 19087, Pennsylvania
Entered on December 3, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

Accepting Those Who are Different

Last winter and spring, I was involved in a group called Blue and Gold. It is an organization that raises money to help children with disabilities. I was the representative for my school which meant that I was going to have a buddy who had some sort of intellectual disability. This experience has changed my life tremendously. My buddy was eighteen and was mentally delayed, which meant that she had a mindset of a second grader or maybe a little older. I was so excited when I first found out that she was my buddy because I had already met her while I was coaching the Special Olympics. On the paper that I received about her, it said that she enjoyed watching movies, playing games, hanging out with friends, and she especially liked going to the mall. When I read that, I realized that she is just like me. Once I was around more and more people my age that had an intellectual disability, I recognized that they are normal and just like all of my friends and I. That is why I believe that everyone should be treated equally no matter what they look like and how they act.

One Friday night, I took my buddy Kaylin to the mall so we could just hang out and do something. We walked around and I was holding her hand because it made her feel more comfortable because she would get nervous around a big crowd and a lot of noises. As we were walking, I was looking around at all the people just staring at her because she looked different and you could tell that there was something wrong with her. I was really taken aback by this because I just look at her as someone who is normal and someone who is a really good friend. The fact that really blew my mind was that most of the people that were looking at her were adults. I think this is true because children now are more accustomed to disabled children. I think that most adults are not comfortable around people with a disability because they were never really around them.

I really feel that everyone should be treated equally. If people would just accept people for the way they are, I think that there would be more peace in the world. I think that we should follow what God tell us to do: Love your neighbor as yourself. Your neighbor is not always actually your neighbor. Your neighbor in this sense is just anyone that you come across in your day. I believe that we should love everyone no matter what they look like or how they act.