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The “R” Word

The “R” Word

I know it’s Wordless Wednesday and after only two weeks, I’m breaking my vow of silence. If you have ever met me, you probably already knew this was going to happen. I’m a chatty person and it’s hard for me to be quiet for very long. Still, I thought it would be okay to post this today because this is a type of wordless article. It’s about getting people to stop using a word or at least stop using it so carelessly.

My History With The “R” Word

Before I go into the details, a bit of disclosure on my part. I have used the “R” word before, I’ve used it to make fun of something or someone and I’ve laughed when other people use it in the same way. I have done this despite the fact that years ago a close friend of mine in high school whose brother is mentally challenged told me how upsetting it was to her. Obviously, I never did it in front of her again. When she told me that, it made me stop and think and for a long time I was more aware of how harmful the word can be and I stopped using it. But the word is so ubiquitous in our culture that after a while I started back up again. What she said had struck a chord and every time I used it, in the back of my mind, I felt a twitch that made me feel a little bad about it. I was aware but too lazy to watch my words.

Then, this morning I read an incredibly touching blog post from a mother who set out to bring awareness to Twitter users about their use of the “R” word. In the post she mentions that she was contacted by the people who run The Social Challenge web site (the video at the beginning of this post is from them) and she talks about how frustrating and overwhelming her personal challenge to herself became.

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Please go read her post and check out The Social Challenge site as well. I realize that for our generation stopping the use of this word as a derogatory statement may be a lost cause, but if every mother stopped using it, maybe our children wouldn’t learn to use it. In one generation we could wipe it out. That might be wishful thinking but I’m going to try and do my part. I hope you’ll join me.


View Comments (2)
  • I really enjoyed this article. So many people today do not pay attention to how words can make someone feel. I know myself I have used the “R” word alot, just refering to someone acting silly or as you said make fun of. Truth is tho we live now in a society that people don’t really care how words can hurt someone. I realize that everyday when I hear the conversations my teenager has.

  • Thanks for the comment Lisa. When I read that other mom’s post it just brought back the memory of my friend telling me how much it hurt her to hear those words. I was a teenager then but it stuck with me and I hope that by bringing it more people’s attention, it will stick with the people who read this.

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