“A compassionate community; a more empathetic society…” In her speech at last night’s ESPYs, Arthur Ashe Courage Award recipient Caitlyn Jenner called for acceptance and understanding. “We’re all different. That’s not a bad thing.”
You’d think a concept so simple we teach it to our preschool children — to our kindergarteners — would carry through the rest of our lives. But, as most of us know and have experienced, the older you get, the less accepting your fellow humans seem to become. It’s kind of like that idea of us all starting out bald and in diapers, and ending up…bald and in diapers; we have to go back to the beginning, and back to the simplest of ideals. As people, we want to feel and express our individuality, to be recognized for it, and to be accepted for who we are. Who we are shouldn’t be something we’re afraid to reveal, or something we’re worried will hurt our families.
At times, Jenner’s voice trembled and she teared up more than once, but her determination to use the power of her spotlight in a “responsible” way is what will leave the greatest impression. It is impossible to watch and her speak and not be deeply affected by Jenner’s passion and courage.
“It’s about what happens from here. It’s not just about one person. It’s about thousands of people…It’s about all of us accepting one another.”