Hello! My name is Mardra Sikora. I’m a mom of an adult son with Down Syndrome and I think “Awareness Months,” in general, are a good thing. At the very least, they give social media managers something new to share about. At best, they teach and remind those outside of a community of the issues that affect people inside a community, and facilitate more honest conversation and create allies.
Way back in 2013 when I started this little site. I reasoned: Not awareness of Down syndrome, awareness of what is Down syndrome in the lives of the people we love. Sharing stories, that’s what all good stuff seems to come down to.
Countering Hate and Ignorance
Another important plus to “Awareness Months” is that it’s a lovely counter to the hate that makes headlines, We make an “occasion” to learn, celebrate, and be a positive force rallying for our community.
A friend of mine gave me very good advice while I was struggling through the drafts of my “Essay: Arguing Eugenics,” she said, “Write like you’re talking to a reasonable person.” Ah yes…because that’s the person that will listen.
Advocate to the Reasonable
That’s what we’re trying to do here. Fill the spaces in-between with compassion, acceptance, empathy. Try to share and teach the reasonable.
You and I, we may not agree on everything, but if there is the ability to discuss and share. Then we can find the way. I can show you stuff you didn’t know before; you can show me stuff that didn’t occur to me.
Awareness, acceptance, advocate-ness* won’t change a person from hate to reason. But if all the reasonable people get together, maybe we can change the face of fear to one of hope.
This post from this morning sums up some of what’s fun to use to educate and encourage “awareness.”
I’ve left the “X” and gone on to Mastodon. The DsCommunity (that I’ve found so far) is smaller, so maybe even more important that I share…? That’s why I started with this one:
We’ll continue to do our part to celebrate and educate, in whatever ways we can. Mostly it’s in the living.