When We Meet Somone Who Is Different
After reading about an encounter my social media friend had last week, I was moved to share my heart in hopes to challenge us all to examine ourselves in a humble, intimate way.
My friend was in a library for story time. She noticed a lady staring at her youngest child, who happens to have DS, but that isn’t what bothered my friend. The lady quickly said to her, “she’s Downs, right?!” My friend’s response was, “Her name is Victoria and she has Down Syndrome.” I’m sharing this very common story with you to say this...
When we meet someone for the first time, remember we are not a skin color. We are not a diagnosis. We aren’t our mistakes. We are more ALIKE than different! Not only in this situation, but in others, many see those that are differently abled, those with a different colored skin, or anyone that is different in anyway....as inferior. It may not be something they feel is true about themselves and would never admit publicly, but that subconscious feeling of viewing anyone that is different as inferior ...is there. That is why many speak to others without using person first language. (Ex. “Down’s kid” instead of their name)
I say this, not condescendingly; but with insight, because I have been guilty of these types of subconscious feelings myself.
Advocating is key. While social media is fine and dandy, I believe many that don’t personally know anyone that are differently abled, see our posts and say to themselves, “Awe, that’s sweet” and keep scrolling.
Our real progress with advocacy is when we have moments like my friend did in the library, with a personal contact! When we are given a moment to make a change in any given day, seize that moment! Carpe Diem with love and kindness!
Henry Blackaby is a pastor and has a study guide called “Experiencing God”. In this book, he says God is always at work around us. He invites us to join Him and it is up to us to do so.
Moments are given to us to make a difference daily.
May we realize we have a mission field around us every single day.
We can make a difference, if we are willing do to do so with love.
I write about life and family. My heart's desire is to educate as I am being educated, while inspiring and encouraging others through the beauty of Down Syndrome.