A video clip caught my attention today. It was about the use of the term "retard" and how BIll Maher recently used this word in reference to Sarah Palin's youngest child. I had two reactions to this news ; appalled but not surprised when one considers the source. Bill Maher is not known for his class or for his awareness of what is important in life. However , it is not just this infamous individual who uses this expression. I have noticed a resurgence of this word in recent years and that is just plain troubling. How wrong and insensitive to call precious folks who were born with a disability a crude and ignorant name like that. Look at this adorable little girl above in the picture - she is a beautiful person with feelings, intelligence, and a loving nature....all strengths that folks like Maher seem to be lacking.

Many kids with down syndrome accomplish great things. There are television actors, restaurant owners, artists, etc who are all folks who were born with this condition. What has impacted me more than any of the accomplishments of these people however is their loving and sweet nature. Society as a whole has a tendency to view those with Down Syndrome or other conditions as those who are somehow "less fortunate" or "inferior" in some way to those of us who are considered "normal" , if there is such a thing. I have the exact opposite feeling. After having observed and known many people, both children and adults alike who are mentally challenged in some way, I have realized that they all seem to possess one common trait which is they know how to love others. They are good at it. Most of us in the "normal" ranks are not. These challenged individuals laugh more, hug more, smile more, touch more, and perhaps understand more about the needs of humans  than the rest of us. They don't hold grudges, they don't blackmail, they don't exhibit cruelty and anger as often as us "more privileged" folks. Simply put, they know how to love. They want to be kind. They show and express their feelings and don't play games with others' feelings. When you consider all of this, who really is the " less fortunate" group of people ?

 I submit that it is sad and sorry guys like Maher and the rest of the world who reveal their shallow selves with their comments and jibes. We have become an angry and snide culture and it shows. Hopefully the more that this is talked about , the more that awareness will grow and the ignorant comments and remarks will stop. When I think of sarcastic, cynical, cutting BIll Maher and when I think of this little girl pictured above , I suppose I do have to plead guilty to comparing the two and Mr. Maher looks woefully small ...in all categories. I was going to say something very negative, almost nasty about him but then remembered that this little gal would never do that and after all, she and all those like her are my heroes. They are the stars, they teach us what is most important in life and what is not. They are the superior ones because they just know how to love others.

Isn't that what it is all about ?