Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Road Less Traveled -- Taking the time to get to know each other, despite our differences

I don't know about you, but I'm tired of the battle that goes on between people just because they are different. I'm heartsick over the events in Charlottesville this past weekend. I can't even wrap my head around the mentality and the evil demonstrated there.

This past June, I was on the faculty for St. David's Christian Writers Conference at Grove City College. While there, I met a lovely young woman who wrote the following essay about being "different." Sierra graciously agreed to let me share it here on the blog.

The Road Less Traveled

We all have differences. Mine comes with four wheels and a sunroof. But it’s not a MINI Cooper or a Mercedes Benz. It’s a power wheelchair.

During my high school years, I learned that there were two possible roads people could take when dealing with this obvious difference. I was either a target of bullying or I was someone worth getting to know.

The second road was the road less traveled. Why? Because it took more effort. It was easier for my peers to single me out and attempt to make me feel bad about myself, than it was for them to deal with the discomfort they felt when confronted with an evident difference. It required more time and thought to hold a conversation with me than it did to call me names or kick the wheels of my chair.

I’m not the only person with a visible difference and I wasn’t the first, nor was I the last to be a victim of bullying. A short while ago, I read a news story about an 11-year-old girl who hung herself because of bullying.

But adults are not immune to bullying either. If the road less traveled were taken more often, we’d realize that we have more in common than not, and the world would be a much better place. However, in order for this road to become more traveled, we must set an example. So you’ll find me and my difference rolling down the road less traveled.

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Sierra is a freelance editor, writer, and blogger. Her personal writing tends to be informed by her Christian faith and living life with Cerebral Palsy. She has a B.A. in Biblical and Religious Studies and an M.A. in Communication concentrating in professional writing. When she's not editing, writing or blogging, she enjoys spending time with her family, watching Pittsburgh Steelers football, and reading. You can find her at www.sierrashipton.com and www.facebook.com/writingonwheels

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