Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Could words change the world? (I like to aim high).

This is my friend Deb - we went to high school together a long, long, time ago. LONG time ago.  Deb is awesome in many ways - she just turned 40 and rocked it  (see above, hee hee, love you Deb!), she's raising three teen boys, one who just started college, and she herself is working towards her bachelors degree.  Deb and I have recently reunited thanks to facebook and gulp, our 20th high school reunion (yep, that's right, I said it.  We're talking decades people).  She recently sent me this email - and this email, people, is the reason why I keep doing writing this blog.  I do it for me, I do it for the moms who feel less alone, and I do it for this, for the off chance that it may actually change someone's way of talking, or thinking, or even make a difference in someone life.  
"Hey you rock for being a strong enough person to put that article out there and express your true emotions instead of being PC!!  I have a lot of respect for you.  Here's how what you did POSITIVELY affected me and my family.   My kids commonly used the word retard or stupid when talking to each other or friends. I would do the normal mom thing and say "stop that, it's not nice" etc.  And they would look at me like like 'whatever' and roll their eyes.  After reading your article I thought about how commonly we all use those words without thinking about the impact they have, or how there are lots of people with learning/mental impairments and that it was disrespectful to them.  I decided to take the "don't say that" a step further and had my kids read the article in Bay State Parent.   They came away with a better understanding of why they shouldn't talk like that and had an increased level of empathy for kids like Owen.  Now that they were able to put a face to it all they don't use the word.  My son Michael came home from school the other day and told me about kids teasing another kid for not being able to read very well.  They used the word retard and all Mike said he thought about was Owen, and his story, and how the kid they were making fun of probably felt.  He said he told the kids to knock it off and sat with the boy to try to help him!  That Kathy is because of YOU and the wonderful article you wrote!!!  And I'm sure there are lots more of that happening out there that you don't hear about because you raised awareness! Remember that next time someone rants about what you said or how you chose to express yourself!!!"
Thank you Michael, thank you so much.  You have no idea the hope that you put in the hearts of moms like me everywhere. You are strong to stand up and be heard when others say nothing.  Keep being brave, your mom should be so unbelievably proud of you, and of herself for raising a young man like you.   


  1. That made me cry. WTG Michael

  2. Oh crap! Getting choked up at work & trying to hold back the tears! Thank you Kathy, Deb & Michael! After recently hearing a rant from a twenty-something as to why I should not be offended by the r-word, this was wonderful to read!

  3. Its wonderful that he expressed himself and saved a child!! If he said the word
    " fuck" he would have been suspended!! Interesting how people choose words

    Words do matter, great job Deb and Michael!!

  4. Once again, your blog made me cry! WTG Michael! I hope more kids follow your lead! Kathleen Quinn, changing the world with words! Love it

  5. WOW!! I am now crying at my desk!! I am truly humbled and honored by this article and your kind words Kath! Hopefully there are lots of parents taking a few moments to sit down and talk to their kids about this because I believe TOGETHER WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!!
    PS: Thanks for posting that pic..... payback will be coming....... :)

  6. My two favorite Debs - love both you ladies!! (Deb - I still have pictures of you from high school so BRING IT ON!!)


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