So I have aspirations of being a “writer”, but I’m struggling to get one post a week off now. What gives? I think it’s fear that I won’t be good at it, but that is stupid. Here goes blog # 2. OK that sounds bad, here goes my second blog post ( #2 can never be good, right? ). GREAT! Now I’m starting posts with embarrassing poop jokes.
So I was speaking on stage with my awesome sister Julie recently. She has Down Syndrome which is caused by an extra chromosome. My Grandpa said she did not have an extra, but that you and I are missing it. “It’s the LOVE Chromosome”, he said. My grandpa was very wise. Chances are you have met, or know somebody with Down Syndrome.
You know then, that there is a refreshing unconditional love present that just makes you feel good. Julie is the epitome of that. she will change your world. We speak around the globe together and she writes her own talks. Often they include random thoughts like “ when I was a kid, I rode a vacuum cleaner”. Julie is the boss, she writes what she chooses. Recently, she said to a group of about 600 “ I am so glad my brothers Derrick and Randy, and my sister Kristy have a sister with Down Syndrome in their family”… OK, let’s rewind: If I said, “I’m so glad my siblings have ME!”, you would think I was an arrogant jerk. However Julie catalyzes the “ oh, that’s so sweet” mentality with hew narcissistic rambling. It got me thinking…( that’s dangerous).
Then I met a guy who’s brother had Down Syndrome. He told me how last year his brother gave everybody a mug for Christmas. A mug with a picture of… HIMSELF! My reaction? “That’s awesome!” Imagine for a second if you received a Christmas gift from me of a mug with MY picture on it. Words that come to mind would likely be pious , A-hole.. etc. However when my friend’s brother did it, the mug became treasured. It was everyone’s favorite gift, a prized possession.
The mug, incidentally could be exactly the same object from me or from my friend’s brother. What intrigues me is that though identical, one inspires the “what a tool” attitude and the other…” oh my gosh I LOVE this”.
What is different, I thought? Obviously, one reaction is better, healthier and more positive, but the gift would be exactly the same. The difference in my observation is the way we CHOOSE to look at the giver. We make a choice. Perhaps correctly we assume motives and intentions. In one case it results in warmth, joy, endearing thoughts and happiness. In the other it results in disgust, distain, or an almost hatred for someone who just gave you a gift. It intrigues me that the gift is identical, but the CHOSEN reaction can be overwhelmingly positive, or negative. AND, it is completely our choice how to react. Countless thoughts of justification are flying through my mind, and probably yours right now, but facts are facts. You choose the reaction and you choose the feeling. All I am suggesting is that love is never the wrong choice. From now on I am going to, and I encourage you to try and…LOVE THE MUG.