You could look the definition up in the dictionary to know what the formal sense of the word is, but in your mind and heart you already know what it means. Its one of those things the 99.9% of the world wants or craves. We all go through life, wanting other people to accept us for who we are. Sometimes we pretend to be a person we are not, just to feel part of the gang. Or that we strive so hard for society to love us. Acceptance has become part of how we live our lives. Now I know that there are people out there that claim that they don't care what the world thinks of them, but to the people they think matter, they are willing to change a part of themselves, just to be accepted by those certain people.
Humans from the dawn of time have had this need to be part of something. Whether it be trying to prove one's self to go hunting for the clan's next meal to trying to prove yourself among your peers at school. We have all tried to change ourselves in order to fit in. But acceptance is no more just a word, to a person that doesn't fit into society's "Normal"
If you don't fit into a certain group, that let's say is popular, or the majority, you are constantly trying to prove to them that you deserve to be part of that majority. The lack of acceptance spawns things like racism, discrimination and bullying. You will have people fighting for equality, the right to be liked and loved for the person they are born to be. We can change our attitudes about things, but we can't change the way we inherently look like. I can't take the freckles off my face no more than a African can change the colour of their skin. Nor can a person with special needs help the way they born. So why is it that we still strive to be perfect to the demands of society?
Its because no one wants to accept that we are imperfect. There is no such thing as a perfect person.We all have our faults and the things we don't like about ourselves. But most of us accept what we can change about ourselves in order for to be happy with the person we are inside.
As I sit down to write this, shy a couple of months before Autism Awareness Month, I have often thought it should be more Autism Acceptance. You see Awareness and Acceptance shouldn't stop just at the end of April. It should be how you look at life. It should be how you accept the differences other people have. You will find that if you are willing to accept a person for who they are, really get to know them, you might learn something about yourself in the process.
I experience acceptance through my own family. We are a special needs family. They are a source of proving to the world that different isn't a bad thing. Yeah, they have some hurdles in life, but that is what makes them stronger.I have seen them stand up to people who have called them "Stupid, Strange, Retarded" or have treated them horribly. They are also kids that strive to be a part of something. Anything. Whether it be an activity like sports, a party or just being part of a social group, where they can be themselves, without the fear of rejection and bullying. It doesn't take much to make kids with special needs happy. As long as you accept and understand that they are just as human as you are, you will make them as well as yourself feel better.
Everyone wants to be loved and accepted. Everyone wants to feel included in something. Acceptance isn't just a word. Its a way of life. Its how you choose to see the outside world and it's many different things. But sadly there are people who refuse to accept that we are all just human beings who have been set on this great earth to just live. They will miss out on what is outside their own sphere.