We are the Stow Family and this is our story. Our lives are blessed by Love, Joy and Hope. Follow our sometimes interesting stories on loving our two boys, exploring parenthood, and celebrating a little extra - two parents, two boys and an extra chromosome!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

I wish you Love & Light

I have been doing some soul searching the past few days – questioning long-held beliefs and trying to make changes in my life that will bring into my life those things that I want – Love, Peace, Acceptance, Understanding and most of all Embracing this Moment.

Firstly, I have realized that if I want those things in my life, and I expect others to respect those things, then I must be able to ‘step up’ and deliver those things myself. Easy peasy? Not quite.

It means that I must give Love, Peace, Acceptance and Understanding to those that give it back AND to those that don’t. Nelson Mandela once said that revenge/unforgiveness/hatred for another is like me drinking poison and expecting the other person to drop dead… Not very clever. No.

But this is obviously easier said than done people. Which is why I think it is has been the most enlightened of our species that have displayed this tendency – it is not easy for us mere mortals.

In recent days/weeks I have chosen to join a group of concerned parents of children with Ds who want to educate the ignorant and call them on their outdated beliefs – in the hopes that we can make a difference for our children. This is noble and the intention is good. But what a ninny I am! The very first article we were lead to read, one that was so incorrect and so ridiculous about individuals with Ds, and I’m ‘chickening out’ so to speak.

The article itself wasn’t that bad – leaving a comment for the author would surely have given him food for thought. So everything is all good… until I read a comment on this particular article that referred to my child (or people with Ds) as ‘animals’ and not much better than ‘cattle’… ‘just because something looks human, doesn’t mean it is’.

What? My mouth just hangs open and my heart constricts. Re-read it. And again. Nope. Still dumbstuck.

This person, this comment from ‘Rob’, is just so cruel and so ugly that I have to step back.

Do I fight this? Will it matter? Can a person like this change their mind? Are they even open to another’s opinion? Somehow I don’t think so.

So – where am I going with this? Well, simply put, I’d rather not know thank you very much. I don’t want to invite that sort of disgusting thought into my life, into my consciousness, into my home (via my laptop screen) – I felt like taking a shower (with my laptop) after reading that.

So, despite spending my entire life thus far believing in ‘fighting the good fight’, I have now decided to choose what I allow into my mind and home. I will not go looking for negativity; I will not put myself in a position where this kind of thought can affect me or my child.

Yes, if I am physically confronted by a situation where teaching and explaining more about my son is appropriate, I’m all for it – otherwise, I’m really not interested in what someone on the other side of the world has to say – that’s their problem.

So, Mr. Rob, I wish you all the things I wish for myself.
Love – so that you may understand that some emotions don’t have conditions attached.
Peace – so that your heart is no longer so twisted by hatred.
Acceptance – so that you may understand and celebrate diversity instead of being afraid of it.
Understanding – so that you may try to learn about new things and broaden your horizons.
Embracing the moment - so that you may know that your thoughts of yesterday do not need to be your thoughts of tomorrow.

*Please note that I am no way downplaying in any way other parents’ choice to leave comments or to speak their minds. We each make the choice that is best for us.


Lacey said...

I understand completely. If I directly hear someone say something I will say something. But I don't want to even think about what some people think. I don't understand how nowdays people are still so ignorant. Do they say the same thing about autistic kids and people with cerebal palsy?

Lianna said...

I, too, am learning to pick my battles. I'm worn out on the whole last episode of "teaching awareness" of my life. Because I have a son with Down syndrome does not qualify me to change every single mind out there...minds like this Rob you write about.

I believe in Gabriel, and there are days when I don't think it is enough, but it has to be.

There's no other way, I guess.

I like the philosophy you have adopted and I think it is important to recognize and acknowledge what we do bring into our lives, as well as what we practice.

These are wonderful things for you to teach Malakai. And I think by learning these things, he'll rise above someone like "Rob".

Terry Family said...

I wouldn't have been able to walk away. Nor, would I have taken such a high road. With that said, you're so right ~ some people are just not worth it. But, that doesn't mean you should give it up. It is my opinion that I have a role in changing perceptions and outdated information. It's how change happens ~ slowly - one person at a time. But, Lianna is right ~ we need to pick our battles. take care

Conrad, Megan and Our Precious Keaton said...

My friend, I would just like to share with you one thought that you have taught me over the years........ No matter what you do or say - there are always going to be "those" people who have no room for change in their lives, who will think what they want or say what they want and when you add all of this up it certainly equals = IGNORANCE!
I agree with you reserve your energy for those for love, care and cherish you both! We love you lots! Megs and Keaton

Anonymous said...

Your words and your heart are so beautiful Loren!!! You really inspire me! Thanks for sharing your journey with us!
:) Katie Jonker

Hector and Jennifer Varanini Sanchez said...

I too am feeling a bit unsure of how to handle the ignorance out there in the real world. It's hard to hear, read and realize. I too think I may choose to live in the present with my beautiful family and friends and teach through example.