A few of my friends found out that Build-A-Bear Workshop is coming out with an Autism Speaks Bear, and informed me of this.
This got me really excited. A portion of the proceeds from the bears will be going to Autism Speaks. Its release is very timely since April is Autism Awareness Month. It's nice to know that yet another place is supporting an important cause.
While the bear and the cause are a great thing, an issue rose because of it. By no means is it Build-A-Bear's fault or Autism Speaks' fault. Let's be clear on that right now. The issue came from individuals who are actually ANGRY that Build-A-Bear is coming out with a bear for autism.
Now, let's think about that for a minute. WHY would ANYONE be ANGRY that an organization is supporting a cause?
The only reasoning I see coming out is because it's a cause that these individuals don't support, because it's not important to them. Even so, that is certainly NOT a reason to put down a good cause like this. And the company certainly doesn't deserve hate because of it.
The issue has gone so far where people were actually trying to BOYCOTT Build-A-Bear for making an autism bear, all because they feel the company is "leaving out other causes."
I am so appalled that people are acting like this. There are comments everywhere, from different pages on Facebook, to writing hate messages on Build-A-Bear's page. It's sickening and it makes me angry, upset, offended, frustrated, and so much more. I can only imagine how other autism supporters might be feeling by seeing this negativity.
I guarantee that everyone who is putting down the organization and the cause doesn't have any affiliation with anyone who has autism. Why else would they freak because they see a bear supporting this cause?
Oh wait...because it isn't something THEY find most important.
If it was a cause that was very dear to THEIR hearts, none of this would be happening. But because it's something that isn't, all of a sudden the world is ending.
April is Autism Awareness Month. These things take time to plan. Just because they are supporting autism now DOESN'T mean Build-A-Bear isn't supporting other causes. They have bears for many things, and I'm sure they are working on more ideas.
It's great to be proactive and try to get something for a cause that's important to you, but what gives you the right to HATE on a company for wanting to do good? There is NO reason for any of this.
Just because autism is the most important cause to me, it does NOT mean that I don't support other causes. I've even donated to multiple causes.
Page 2 of 2 - If you had a cause that was important to you and an organization decided to sell something in support of that cause, how would you feel when other people threw a fit because of it? You wouldn't like it at all.
Seeing the hatred, negativity and hurtful comments, is not only wrong, but it's also offensive and upsetting to those who support autism. You don't have to have a relative or friend with autism to want to support the cause. You can support any cause just because it's helping something.
EVERY cause deserves recognition. NO cause deserves hate. They are all different, supporting various things, but they all have the same goals: helping find cures, funding research, and supporting families affected.
People hating on anything related to autism has got to be my biggest pet peeve. It makes me angry enough to cry. I am at a loss for words to see such hatred of an organization trying to help out.
Whether it is autism, cancer, aids, or anything else, they ALL deserve respect. You can still support them even if one isn't as important to you as another.
Isn't the whole point to make the world better and to find cures from unfortunate circumstances that we wish nobody had to deal with?
Waters is a staff writer for The Wayne Independent and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org