In a recent post I read online, this was some advice one sister/mom received from her brother.......
"'The hill you die upon.' He was saying it in regards to a person we both knew who had started a Facebook scuffle. The topic? The "R" word. On my own personal profile page. One person just could not wrap his head around the idea that this might be offensive, demeaning and just plain hurtful, despite my own and others' request to drop it. I will never forget talking about it later with my brother, and how he just summed it up perfectly. 'That's the hill he wanted to die upon? Really?' In case you haven't figured it out by now, autism is one of the hills I will do battle on. Spreading the word to end the word is another."
This post got me thinking about my own hills. Throughout my life, I've went to "battle" over things, that in reality, meant nothing to me. I really could have cared less if I won some of those battles, but that good ole pride just kept me going back for more. I wanted to be right. I wanted to win. I wanted the last word. But for what?
Thinking back over the years, it's almost comical to think about some of the petty things I let get to me. I've realized as I get older, there just isn't a lot of things I'm willing to fight tooth and nail for. I don't need that drama in my life.
With that being said, there are a few things that I will never stop fighting for.
I will do battle on that hill for Down Syndrome Awareness. I want as many people as possible to be rightfully educated about individuals with Down syndrome, and that a diagnosis is not a death sentence, for you or your child.
I will do battle on that hill for acceptance and inclusion. In school and in the community we live. My daughter has a right to live, learn, grow, and thrive alongside everyone else.
I will do battle on that hill to spread the word to end the word. My daughter deserves respect. She deserves to be looked at as an equal, not a punchline to someone's pathetic joke. When you make a rude comment referring to someone, or something, as being "retarded", or "slow", or "special", or "riding the short bus", you're disrespecting my daughter. You're disrespecting hundreds of thousands of other people who have an intellectual disability.
We all have our own battles to fight. These are mine. These are the hills I will die fighting on, because they're that important to me.
Choose to be kind. Choose to be open minded. Choose to be respectful. Choose to be accepting. It's your choice, make it count.