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Compassion vs Acceptance

Posted Oct 17 2012 9:44pm
There were a couple of commenters on my " I Don't Want Compassion For Kayla " post that I wanted to respond to, but their emails are not attached to their profiles. I don't know if they'll be back to read my blog or not, but either way, I wanted to try and clarify my thoughts.

I was asked how does Kayla feel about being included, even if by sympathy or compassion. Does she feel accepted, excited, included, happy?

Kayla is only 9 so right now I don't think she would even understand if she was being included based on sympathy or compassion, or genuine friendship. And for the most part I don't think most 9 yr olds would think to include Kayla because they were feeling sorry for her. I think kids either play with her because they want to, or they don't.

If she were in high school now and in this situation how would she feel being voted Homecoming Princess or Queen? I'm sure she would absolutely love it. Just as I've seen the joy and excitement on the other students who have Down syndrome, in every article I've read thus far. I'm not trying to take away from their feelings of having the school vote for them. I wouldn't take away from Kayla basking in the spotlight if it happened to her. It is an exciting time. And as I said, I know this is better than the alternative, to have cheers instead of jeers.

I would be happy for Kayla, but at the same time, as her parent what I'm saying is what I do and don't want for her. And I stick by what I said in my previous post. I don't want her peers doing things for her out of compassion...not if the definition of compassion is a deep feeling of sympathy and sorrow for another person's great misfortune. That's not how I want them to look at her. They are her peers and I want for her to find a group of friends who will like her for her. Who will accept her for her...not out of compassion, but out of shared interests - how any friendships are made. She doesn't need sorrow.

And I think when we reach the point of not having to have news articles about another high school electing another student w/Ds King or Queen, because it just won't be that big of a deal, maybe then we've (society) reached acceptance and not compassion.

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