Monday, January 16, 2012

We can't be silent

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." ~Martin Luther King, Jr.
Warning- this will be a picture-less post. 

A fitting quote for how I have been feeling lately. The kids are in bed, my work for the day is completed, so I dive into my nightly ritual of catching up on the other world outside my home. Tonight, there are lots of good things to read- like my good friend's status updates as she is at the hospital expecting her son's birth at any moment. Or Noah's Dad sharing about their Times interview and NBC Nightly's cover on a little up and coming model who happens to have Down syndrome. I am well aware that I have become that annoying advocate mother. Where two years ago, my status' did not revolve around the acceptance of people with Down syndrome, and now I find my self not wanting to talk about much else. Two years ago, I was not nearly as involved in social media as I am now. Because two years ago I didn't have anything to say, anything to fight for, other then my amazing boys, however I never felt the need to prove their awesomeness outside the regular doting mom stuff :). I cannot say that Down syndrome isn't very much a part of our everyday. But not necessarily because in our own walls we are affected by it every day. I don't think I would think about it half as much if it weren't for the Internet. From following blogs and fellow families with kids with Down syndrome that I am friends with via Facebook, I am daily rejoicing over achieved milestones, fighting for someones acceptance, or comforting someone going through a hard moment. I think about Down syndrome often, not because I am sad or worried about Fiona, but because I simply care about it now. 

I have no doubt in my mind why God blessed our family with a special needs child. He knows me. He knew that I was ignorant. And he knew what I could do if I was aware. I am someone who needs to be shaken. I need to feel the impact to react. 

Martin Luther King, Jr. had a dream. That all men would be seen as equal. He wanted no one to be judged simply by color of their skin, but by the quality of their character. I would like to broaden Mr. Luther's word color to appearance. No even grander, change it to how they are formed. I love seeing people with Down syndrome doing great things- getting jobs, becoming models. But just like I hope that someday we don't have to point out that a black man is President, but rather just refer to him as the 43rd President, I hope that someday we aren't pointing out Down syndrome. That their acomplishments are just acomplishments to be celebrated, no matter what race, religion, gender, or disability they have. I dream big. 

I want to leave you with some other, not as well known quotes of the late Dr. 

A right delayed is a right denied. -please go sign Amelia's petition

Almost always, the creative dedicated minority has made the world better. - I've yet to come across someone who cannot say that having a child with Down syndrome has made them a better person.

Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness. - Our world has to become more selfless for humanity to prevail. Sadly, I watch it grow more and more selfish.

Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase. - To all the doctors who claim they can predict the future, I am glad I had faith and did not listen to you.

He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it. - We are just as guilty as those that harm people with Down syndrome, belittle them, degrade them, devalue them, if we do not speak up for them.

If a man hasn't discovered something that he will die for, he isn't fit to live. - Strong words, but I tell you this, I have never felt more alive then when I realized what was most important in life. Don't wait for God to shake you, proactively learn the art of selflessness. 


  1. I don't know anyone who writes as lovely as you do! This was an amazing post Shannon, I loved it!

  2. Great stuff. Thanks for all you do. And it's ok to be the "annoying" advocate. :)

    Thanks for the great work on your blog by the way...keep it up. It's great!


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