EDITOR’S NOTE: Cass Huff is a special needs student at Mt. Rainier High School. In 2016, she was named “Citizen of the Year” by the City of Burien. by Cass Huff Hey B-Town Readers! Today I’m going to be writing about a topic that is prevelant in my life. It is about when and how to use the word “inspirational“. When people call me inspirational, I sometimes take offense to it. Here’s why: yes, I do have disability. But I don’t let it get in the way of anything that I want to accomplish. I was not raised differently because of my disability. I still get up in the morning and go to school like an “average” teenager. I still complain about homework and hang out with my friends just like everyone else. So when you tell me that I’m “inspirational” you’re saying that if you were in my circumstances, you wouldn’t be able to do what I do. But I’m just living my life like anyone else. What else am I supposed to do? If you call me inspirational, the first thing that I will ask is why you feel that way. If it’s because I have inspired you through my music or have helped you through a hard time or something along those lines, then I wouldn’t take offense to that. But if I inspire you because I do regular things, or just live my life, then that’s one of the times that I would take offense to it. I have talked to other people with disabilites and they agree with me. One of my best friends, Kaelyn, is 18 years old and has Cerebral Palsy. She says: “I don’t think that people with differences should be called inspirational for just getting out of bed and doing what everybody else does. I think it’s okay to call someone inspirational if they make the world a better place. Most of us in the disability community don’t let our challenges or differences define us. We want to be called inspirational for doing something extraordinary not for doing everyday tasks that life requires.” So the next time you think about calling someone inspirational, regardless of the circumstances, think about what you just read and please take it into account. Over and Out! – Cass & Kaelyn]]>
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