Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Horton Hears a Who

I thought it fitting that I open my response to being awarded by ABFH the "Roar for Powerful Words" by evoking an image of one of the finest fables relating to small voices being heard.

In this book, the most famous line (and one that has gained traction with the Pro-life philosophy that I identify with and support) is:
"...a person's a person, no matter how small."

Needless to say, this phrase can and should have lots of play in any discussion of disability rights, as well.

So I am pleased and humbled by ABFH's decision to tag me with this award. I quite simply don't feel deserving, especially considering the other bloggers selected by ABFH (and ABFH herself) and their range and depth of thought on many of the same subjects covered here. If I could smile shyly in an "Aw, shucks" kind of way on my blog, I would be doing so right now.

When I read the post of the originator of this award - Seamus - I saw mention of the sideways glances given to blogging by the mainstream media. In his words, "A Roar For Powerful Words is the chance to scream from the mountains the good news about the powerful posts that are produced every day in the blogosphere, despite what some mainstream columnists and journalists claim." And when you look at the ethics (or lack thereof) and social mores of some bloggers, it is apparent that blogging is the literary equivalent of the Wild West in many ways. But to my mind that makes it all the more notable that some people exercise their right to free speech and communication in ways that reflect the responsiblity we feel to our society, our communities, our families, ourselves. These are the blogs I feel are deserving of the "Roar for Powerful Words" award, and that is why I feel pleased to be included in that group.

With this award comes the request to "... examine exactly what it is that makes writing good and powerful." In keeping with the title and theme of this blog, here are three things that do just that, in my opinion:

*Be yourself. When writing, we all have a voice. Attempting to sublimate the natural voice that comes when the pen touches the paper is a mistake.

*Choose a topic you can be passionate about. I am a person of low emotional range - a stony-faced stoic in many ways. But when my son received an autism diagnosis, I allowed my new-found passion to guide me to places I never thought I'd be. And to write about things I never thought I'd write about.

*Be respectful. It is fine to be a critic, but I feel it is important to do so in a respectful way. If you want to criticize someone or something, have some sound thinking to support your position and don't be afraid to have your positions challenged by people who think differently.

This award will not sit idle here on my blog. It is now my pleasure to offer it to other bloggers.Though we are supposed to pick five, I have only three to mention.
For being a clear, strong, and consistent voice in teaching people what is right and wrong in autism advocacy, Joel Smith at NT's are Weird.
For proving that actions can speak even louder than words, Alex Bain at Run Man Blog.
For proudly and positively discussing views of multiple disabilities, NiksMom at Maternal Instincts.


bullet said...

I got this book out of the library for Tom and Jacob the other week :D. It was excellent, it has a great rhythm to it and a good story.

jypsy said...

Thank you Steve, this is the first time Alex has been tagged or given an award for his blog. I'm not sure what he'll do with it. As much as he reads on the internet, he is not a regular blog reader of any blog. I have discussed what it is all about with him and will again and maybe he'll enlighten me a bit more about any blogs he reads even semi-regularly (maybe some of the Runner's World blogs, or TSN or maybe this one of a NB runner who visits his blog, and has blogged about Alex, and who we met at the PEI Marathon this year). He'll read ones I point out to him and suggest he read but likely the blogger with the most "posts" he's "read" would be Bev (8) because many of her visual posts have been printed out and adorn our fridge and other spots, or have done over time.

Indeed, Alex "speaks" mostly with his actions. He wouldn't blog if I didn't encourage him to though today he did start telling me about "The 2007 Highlights of the PEI RoadRunners Club" and I suggested he start making notes of what he had just told me and what more he thinks of as it would make a good blog post. He's started a list. Different people read his blog for different reasons and get different things out of it. I, myself, get a lot of insight into him from it. Unlike school work or his other written work, I very rarely ever point out mistakes he has made in his grammar when he blogs. It is very much the language of Alex, if he were to tell you these things, his sentence structure would be the same. Often his sentences are grammatically correct, often they're not. Often he refers to himself as "I" or "me", probably just as often he refers to himself as "he" or "him". There's a lot to be said for the words he does use and how he uses them.

In the new year I'll be able to share his first words with you all. Though he had a 3 word vocabulary when he was 6, a couple of months later he truly "began to talk" and I have it on video. There will be a DVD recorder under our Christmas tree this year and in the new year I'll be recording to DVD some good old VHS videos. I'm looking forward to watching all this old footage as I record it, there's some great stuff there.

Steve D said...

Fortunately, Jypsy, there is nothing Alex needs to do with the award other than know that at least one person out here in the world thinks he speaks loudly with his actions.
I selected Alex for this reason - I'm sure the originator of this award had adjectives such as "courageous" and "determined" when he created it. So even though Alex may not be the wordiest guy, his regular running updates to me embody the spirit of the award.

Niksmom said...

Steve, I've been remiss in commenting...I'm speechless (which takes a lot! LOL). I am honored that you chose me. I will be posting on it soon, I hope! :-)