October is Dwarfism Awareness Month. Growing up with Rachel and her family has brought so much joy and understanding to my life. I cannot think of a family with more compassion in their hearts and zeal for life. My simple hope is that we will stop pointing fingers and start intertwining them.
(Use the hashtag #dwarfismawareness on social media to continue the conversation)
Words from Rachel Webster:
I have experienced it all. I walk down the street.
Sexual interrogation. The big group of men on the Seattle street corner. "Hey little momma, wanna come home with me?" "Ooooo I wanna have some fun with you! Come over here!"
Mocking. Ridiculing. "Its a midget!" Yeah, "IT". Dehumanizing.
My favorite. One person notices me, smirks, tries to hold in their laughter, and then quickly taps all of their friends to join the party. From over two decades of lip reading, "Look, look, look!" Better yet, sometimes they don't bother to hide it at all. I get the face right next to me in a crowd, completely shocked. And then a scream, "Whoah!!" Or the child AND adult who follow me around the grocery store, hiding behind corners hoping I don't notice them gawking.
And then if I'm in the mood, I shout back, "What are you staring at?" Or to the little child, "It's not polite to stare. I'm little just like you." Their response? The look of "How dare you!" Or the flabbergasted parent who has just joined the conversation and can't believe I would ever say such a thing to her child. So I'm just supposed to take it. Because no one knew any better.
I know I'm not the only one. What about people in wheelchairs? People who are deaf and blind or both? People who have been burned or have lost an eye or don't have any arms or legs? People who struggle to talk and walk? The list is endless. And then there are those who's differences are not noticeable from the outside, but constantly battle fears from the inside. Are they just supposed to take it, too? Because no one knew any better?
The answer is no. I want to tell everyone to be kind, for we are all fighting a hard battle. I want to shout it from the rooftops! It's so ironic to me that the world has such a definition of PERFECTION. And it is all based on physical appearance, yet 99% of us will never fit into society's elite category! It's impossible. SO maybe you should just start accepting me even though I will never be 5 feet tall and the person in the wheel chair will never walk, and that woman over there will never have ears that hear, and the man's leg is never going to grow back. Did you even acknowledge that I am a human with goals, dreams, strengths, weaknesses, likes and dislikes? I have a heart that loves and a mind that thinks and lungs that breathe.