Social media and I have a love/hate relationship. Between the political rants and the negative comments, it is hard to see the attraction. I belong to a community group that focuses on any unusual activities in the surrounding neighborhoods along with crime reporting. I usually don’t comment on any of the posts, but last night was a different story.
A young woman posted a photo of a man with Down syndrome who was sitting on the sidewalk in a nearby neighborhood. Her post was asking if anyone knew him as she was trying to connect him with his family. Fortunately, people knew who he was and where he lived, so with an amazing thread of information and help from the police, he was reunited with his loved ones.
I responded on the thread, (not a normal occurrence for me),thanking her for your compassion and kindness. I stated that I have a son with Down syndrome and if he were lost or confused, I would hope someone like her would stop to help him. The whole scenario affected me deeply as I kept seeing Bailey in that picture. My biggest fear was staring back at me. Lost. Confused. Scared. Alone. I was so grateful for that woman and that it had a happy ending. But, wait, there is more.
With every good intention, there is always a naysayer. You know, the one person that taints the waters. I assume they simply can’t help themselves. In the midst of trying to connect this man with his family, this woman criticized the original post for semantics. She berated the young woman because she wrote “trying to find the family he belongs to”. Apparently, she was offended because it would indicated that he is a possession. She suggested in the future that she use “belongs with”. WTF???? When she was called out on her rather judgmental post, she said she wasn’t being “snarky, but”. Let me point out that when you insert a “but” in a sentence expressing that you aren’t being snarky, you, in fact, are being exactly that.
I don’t usually engage in exchanges with those who have nothing better to do than criticize others, but the fact that this charged me emotionally, I decided to waive my rule. I shared that we should be applauding this woman’s actions instead of berating her. I will say that my children do belong to me and with me. Semantics has no place in this situation. She took this beautiful unification of a community page and sprinkled it with the root of society’s demise.
My son belongs to our family. He belongs to a community. God trusted me with his well-being and semantics aside, belonging is the key word.