My kids have been sick so I was holding my youngest son and watching TV. I happened upon a Dr. Phil show. I never watch Dr. Phil but thought I'd give it a try since it was about a bully and I was bullied a lot in elementary school.
The guest was a semi-attractive woman who openly admitted bullying people. At the grocery store, on different occasions, she'd reached into people's carts and pulled out foods she thought they shouldn't eat because they were fat and she told them so. She'd told a woman in a nightclub that no matter how long she looked in the mirror she'd never be attractive and she'd do the club a favor if she went home because her ugliness was detracting from the club. She was rude to anyone and everyone who she came in contact with.
While the above was appalling, I was floored when she admitted to hating people with disabilities. She said they should all be put in institutions so she wouldn't have to look at them. And the worst was yet to come--she said she had a cousin with Down syndrome that she thought was disgusting. She'd given money to her grandparents so they could take the child and place it in a home so she wouldn't have to deal with this cousin. At one family party she was embarrassed by her cousin's attempt at dancing so she kicked her and knocked her to the ground. She said handicapped people make her sick and she doesn't want to see them anywhere. How dare she say such things and treat people this way.
I couldn't believe this woman and her attitude toward people, especially those with challenges. To think that my son may meet someone like her made me teary. Was this woman for real? Can someone actually be this heartless toward another human being, let alone someone who has a disability? Really?
On the heels of a comment made by a kid in my ward about my own son being retarded, this show made me want to take my sweet little boy and keep him from the world and protect him from such mean people. It has never bothered me that he has Down syndrome, but what bothers me is how people treat him, or may treat him in the future, because of it. It will be my trial to control my mouth when someone is mean to my son because of his chromosome count.
Having him sometimes gives me a small glimpse into what Heavenly Father must have felt when people treated His son with such disrespect and cruelty. The Savior deserved none of the cruel treatment he received. I can only hope that somehow I will be more like Heavenly Father when I see the same thing happen to my son.