I’ve never been a “treat others like you would like to be treated” kind of person as a way to respect people. I do understand that it’s more complex than that and a lot of times it is best and more respectful to “treat others like they would like to be treated.” That’s especially true with your words. Sometimes, without meaning to, you can hurt with how you refer to people. Those times, it’s always better to treat others like they would like to be treated.
I’ve always been extremely offended by the word Oriental when referring to an Asian person. The biggest defense is either “I didn’t mean to offend you” or “such and such Asian person isn’t offended.” Quite frankly, that doesn’t matter. If you hurt and are disrespectful with your words, what matters is not your intention but how you made the other person feel. My feelings on the best course of action in these situations is always to correct your language and from then on continue to use a more appropriate language.
Going through an adoption is extremely emotional and personal for all parts of the adoption triad. Just like my Oriental example, there are terms that are more respectful to use and things that shouldn’t be said. I’d like to thank the two bloggers who commented and pointed out when I used terms that were not respectful (and I also thank you both for saying that to me in a respectful way). In fact, I’m going to do more research on adoption language. I’ve already tried tonight to begin looking some things up, in terms of how people expect to be treated especially in regards to the language that we use, mostly on Adoptee blogs and Firstmom blogs. I don’t know it all. I certainly have a lot to learn and I have always understood that. I’m going back and changing my previous post to reflect new language and I hope that that helps as I continue to try to use a new and hopefully more respectful language.