We were asked to judge Kids4Kids' 2013 writing competition and were very impressed by the amazing work that was sent in.
Yesterday we received the book with the 6 winning stories. It looks amazing. To view the different stories or to buy the book, go to their website.
There is a competition coming up this year again so keep your eyes open!
Certain people do not think about what they say, others think long and hard. Well done John Franklin Stephens for speaking out.
Ann Coulter is a lawyer and a social and political commentator. She left a tweet that is impossible to repeat. You can find the tweet here.
John Franklin Stephens wrote a response which just shows the power, wisdom and beauty of the written word. Regretfully not everyone possesses this gift.
Dear Ann Coulter,
Come on Ms. Coulter, you aren’t dumb and you aren’t shallow. So why are you continually using a word like the R-word as an insult?
I’m a 30 year old man with Down syndrome who has struggled with the public’s perception that an intellectual disability means that I am dumb and shallow. I am not either of those things, but I do process information more slowly than the rest of you. In fact it has taken me all day to figure out how to respond to your use of the R-word last night.
I thought first of asking whether you meant to describe the President as someone who was bullied as a child by people like you, but rose above it to find a way to succeed in life as many of my fellow Special Olympians have.
Then I wondered if you meant to describe him as someone who has to struggle to be thoughtful about everything he says, as everyone else races from one snarkey sound bite to the next.
Finally, I wondered if you meant to degrade him as someone who is likely to receive bad health care, live in low grade housing with very little income and still manages to see life as a wonderful gift.
Because, Ms. Coulter, that is who we are – and much, much more.
After I saw your tweet, I realized you just wanted to belittle the President by linking him to people like me. You assumed that people would understand and accept that being linked to someone like me is an insult and you assumed you could get away with it and still appear on TV.
I have to wonder if you considered other hateful words but recoiled from the backlash.
Well, Ms. Coulter, you, and society, need to learn that being compared to people like me should be considered a badge of honor.
No one overcomes more than we do and still loves life so much.
Come join us someday at Special Olympics. See if you can walk away with your heart unchanged.
A friend you haven’t made yet,
John Franklin Stephens
Special Olympics Virginia
The original letter was posted on The World of Special Olympics website.
Mark Nepo has survived cancer several times now. He has written about his experience extensively and Surviving has made me crazy is the latest book of poetry dealing with the invasive illness in his life.
James Owens wrote an interesting book review about Nepo's work of which I want to share the first paragraph with you here, the rest of the review you can find on the website , by clicking here.
It makes perfect sense that there should be kinship between poetry and healing. Poetry can grow from the deepest places in the self, and those same recesses will be affected by the experience of any serious illness, such as the bouts with cancer that have given shape and purpose to the writing and teaching of Mark Nepo, author of Surviving Has Made Me Crazy. We may sometimes forget the essential nature of this connection, with the contemporary Western world´s focus on the physical aspects of disease, its causes and cure, but some other cultures have always known the power of words that touch the core of an afflicted person through ritual and incantation, through sacred text and prayer. Christians remember this connection when they speak of Christ both as The Word and as The Great Physician, and there are similar instances in other traditions. While Nepo never slights the importance of medical and scientific knowledge, his poems push forward to a wider understanding that can only be called spiritual.
More about the book and some excerpts, you can find on Nepo's website by clicking here.
Tell me and I will forget;
show me and I may remember;
involve me and I will understand.
Old Chinese Proverb