“Decades ago, people used to teach their children that ‘Beauty is in the eye of the beholder’ “
During the course of this past year I have been apalled to see some of the worst of human behavior.
A salesperson being completely disrespectful of an elderly couple struggling with the common physical disabilities which accompany old age, school children mocking a child with Down Syndrome, teenagers making fun of a classmate with Muscular Dystrophy by mimicking his unsteady gait behind his back, a young lady shuddering at a combat disabled soldier who had lost an arm, a leg and half of his face from an IED explosion and a man losing patience with his mother who had Multiple Sclerosis – these were only a few of the incidents that I witnessed.
One can understand the initial reaction that a young child may experience when faced disabilities for the first time in his life, but it is up to parents, family members, teachers and other adults in his life to explain such things in a way that shows the child that physical appearance is only the surface of who we are. In other words, teach by example that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
First and foremost, people with disabilities are people and who they are is not to be defined by how they appear. Consider the toddler who grows up with a parent or grandparent who is disfigured by age, genetic defect, accident or disease. This child does not see the conflict…this child sees the one who hugs them, comforts them and cares for them. They see only the beauty that shines from within.
Perhaps some of the information on this site will help those who are trying to get beyond judging books by their covers, to behold the beauty right in from of their eyes.