While shopping for groceries this fine winter morning, I realized that terrorists are not only those we hear or read of in the news, but our own society. I am deeply disturbed, while mildly proud of my experience today.
Out of the Jeep I go, opening the door to unbuckle my daughter from her seat, while my dog, Miba, jumps out. Scurrying to retrieve the prowling pooch, I overhear the conversation coming from the people in the truck parked next to me.
“Wow, Errol, you are so strong. What a great helper you are! Good job, Errol!”
I look over to my surprise to see an individual with Down’s Syndrome lifting and piling boxes into the truck, full to the absolute brim with groceries.
I finally get my hyper hound into the Jeep, my daughter, Alexandra, out, and I am set to start my shopping.
I say, “Wow, Errol, you are so helpful! What a kind deed you are doing.”
I was able to tell by appearance that these people were not related by bloodline, and as the boy turns around and smiles and waves at me, the woman asks, “So how do you know Errol?”
“I don’t know Errol”, I reply, “but he seems to be helping you out quite a bit, and I think it’s nice.”
The lady grins at me and tells me that this is part of Errol’s program and that she is his worker. She informs me that today is a Food Bank Delivery and that Errol also volunteers at the local Library by cleaning books.
All the while, this boy carries on what he is doing with a smile for both myself and my two year old.
Errol saunters over to join the conversation and I tell him how woderfully kind and compassionate he is for doing so much wonderful work for other people. I tell him he should surely be proud of himself. He smiles that wonderful smile that only those with Down’s Syndrome are able to share with the world.
He does not say a word, only waving to my daughter and I, his face entranced in happiness. The woman calls out, “Thanks for noticing Errol!”
I answer back without a thought, “Why wouldn’t I?”
As I place my little girl in the cart and enter the store, I am disturbed. I question silently in my mind, “Is that really, truly, how ignorant our society is? How ashamed should people be that they lack the spirit of love to another, less fortunate, less “perfect” soul?
When I noticed the topic of this article, I thought to myself, “Terrorists aren’t only those on television, in faraway lands. Terrorsits live here among us, each day, forgetting to acknowledge another human being they deem inferior. THAT is terrorism in the simplest of sentiments.”
I am NOT a terrorist, are you?