Brave by Sara Bareilles
"You can be amazing
You can turn a phrase into a weapon or a drug
You can be the outcast
Or be the backlash of somebody’s lack of love
Or you can start speaking up"
These are the first lines of a song we've all heard, but they became more than simply lyrics to Kerry, Mary Cate's mom. They inspired her to speak up at schools with her daughter, who has Apert Syndrome, spreading the message that despite physical differences, everyone deserves to be treated with kindness.
With this song playing in the background, this mother and daughter dynamic duo kept Half Day fourth graders transfixed as they watched a slide show. The slides highlighted challenges Mary Cate has faced because of her condition and the joy Mary Cate gives and receives just like any other almost 3-year-old. Mary Cate's mom worries about possible challenges Mary Cate may face in the future because of people who haven't learned to look beyond physical appearances to see what truly matters about a person.
By educating students throughout Chicagoland, they hope to spread their message, which is one that is also shared by R.J. Palacio in her book Wonder. "When given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind." (Dr. Wayne W. Dyer)