Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Celebrating Our Differences

Today we spoke to Elle's class about Down syndrome and what it means to be "different." We talked about how we are all different in some way - we all have different color skin and different texture hair; different religions, cultures and beliefs. We talked about how everyone has different likes and dislikes and how our preferences, background and genetics work together to make us each a totally irreplaceable individual.

The kids learned that Reid is one-of-a-kind. Not just because he has an extra chromosome, but because he has a beautiful smile, a deep love of music, and an ability to communicate through sign language.

We shared the things that make us each special and learned that every single person on this planet is worthy of abundant love, respect and happiness. We talked about how much it would hurt to be called a mean name or left out. 

But mostly, we talked about how deep down we are all more alike than different. How we all want to laugh and hug and act silly. We all want friends to play with and family to love us. And because we are all the same on the inside, it's super important to be kind to one another despite what we may look like on the outside. 

And you know what? THEY GOT IT. You guys, kids want to be kind. These boys and girls kept shouting out the Golden Rule -- wildly interrupting me with "DO UNTO OTHERS AS YOU WOULD HAVE THEM DO UNTO YOU!!"

Kids don't care about the incredibly limiting stuff that adults care about. Extra chromosomes don't bother them much, nor does the fact that someone has a different point of view or curly hair or different color skin. But the world will send them other messages as they grow -- they WILL start to notice differences in themselves and in others.

It's our job to continuously remind our children that they are remarkable and invaluable. So that when they get older and witness intolerance or when the world tries to make them feel unworthy in some way, they can be equipped to make the best, most loving choices -- for both themselves and others. So that when these little people turn into big people, they are able to look past all the differences they see with their eyes and cherish one another with their hearts.  💙💛

 #worlddownsyndromeday #choosekind #kidsgetit #friendsdontcountchromosomes 

via instagram: @campshree

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