I will be the first to admit that I have used this word in the past. Usually in a context such as "that's retarded". Never ever ever have I used it toward an individual. I've heard the word "retard", "retarded", and "retardation" thrown around plenty of times and have never given it a second thought. Well, now I do. The words make me cringe anytime I hear them. One of my worst fears is that this term will be used toward my son one day and that breaks my heart. It is an offensive, cruel, negative, and derogatory term. A term that I am ashamed of ever using. Even though they shouldn't, words hold a lot of power. As much as I would like to say that it doesn't matter...it does. Today, March 6, is National spread the word to end the word day. Today I ask you to take the pledge to end the word.