My daughter's high school English class had a discussion about people with special needs after reading, "Of Mice and Men." The question posed to the class was whether or not people with disabilities are burdens.
My very tender-hearted daughter, who spent 2 years in middle school working with kids with special needs, was astonished to find so many in her class who believe those with disabilites really don't deserve to live. One girl was adamant that people with disabilites are like animals. Another girl believed they shouldn't be cared for. Others agreed that people with disabilites are complete burdens on everyone. My daughter was relieved that one young man pointed out that everyone in that room was a burden.
My guess is that none of those kids have ever worked with nor been around someone with special needs. How sad to have such a narrow view.
Are we raising our kids to see those who have challenges as nothing more than animals? Are we so focused on perfection that we relegate those who are "imperfect" to sub-human status? Do we consider those with challenges as burdens?
We like to think we've come so far when it comes to discrimination, but the truth is, there's still plenty of prejudice and ignorance to go around when it comes to people with special needs.
Let's teach our children the truth. We all have challenges. Some may be more visible than others, but we all have them. Let us be kind and and merciful when we encounter those who have disabilites. After all, however merciful we are to others, for whatever reason, is how merciful God will be with us.