October 31st. The last day of Down Syndrome Awareness month. I feel like I failed. I don't believe I brought awareness to anyone outside the Ds community. I posted (almost) every day... to other parents who are already aware of Down Syndrome. But if I had an opportunity, say a commercial spot that would be broadcast to the world, or maybe my state, or city, what would I tell them?
Just say Hi. When you walk by, just say hi to her. She's a person. She has hopes, dreams and goals, just like you. She has hobbies, just like you. She laughs, she gets her feelings hurt, she loves, she cries. She wants people to like her, just like you. She likes to hang out with friends, just like you. She's compassionate. She doesn't judge. Give her a chance. Just say Hi. You may find that she's more like you than you know. You may find that you have more in common than you expect. You may find that she's the lifelong friend you've been looking for. Just say Hi.
I've been thinking about this for a few days now but still don't feel
like I could say anything that would change the world. Plain words aren't going to do it. People have to want to change. People have to begin to think differently. But what if my words
change just one person? What if it did bring awareness to someone, just one, who could
then change the world of someone who has Down Syndrome?