Facebook is littered with them – memes which state that if you care about something you must prove it by re-posting a picture with a bunch of often grammatically incorrect sentences or misspelled words. Things like, “If you want cancer to cured, re-post this in the next twenty seconds,” or “Share if you think animals have rights too.” Of course I want a cure for cancer to be found, and I certainly can’t stand to hear about animals being mistreated, but I never re-post these things – I don’t feel that I need to prove the way I feel to anyone.
But the one that really gets me are the “children with special needs need to be treated like anyone else” memes.
Like this one:
Do I want people to be aware that kids with special needs need to be treated just like everyone else? Yes. Do I want to be guilted into posting this because it shows I have “a strong heart”? No. Do I sound ungrateful right now? Maybe.
I don’t feel that I need a strong heart in order to love my two kids with special needs, and I don’t think anyone else requires a particularly strong heart to care about them. They just need to be observant and kind. Treating any human being with kindness is a simple matter of compassion and at least an attempt to understand. No one has to prove themselves as far as I’m concerned, unless actually confronted with a situation in which they can provide a smile or at least refrain from saying or doing something nasty.
I mean seriously, how far does one of these Facebook memes go? If someone is confronted with an uncomfortable situation in a public place where an Autistic adult walks up to them and begins to talk about his or her imaginary friend, does the poster of the meme remember they posted it and take it to heart? No. The last thing on someone’s mind in this situation is Facebook.
Rather than posting a meme, learn something. Take the time to think about what you’d do. Read articles written by the parents of a special needs child and take their advice. Being guilted into posting on Facebook is useless unless you know what it means.
Ungrateful rant finished.