Far too often, we choose words that dismiss individuals with different abilities, that dismiss their strength, their love, their vision, their endurance—how they survive even as they are knocked down.View Story ▼Far too often, we choose words that dismiss individuals with different abilities, that dismiss their strength, their love, their vision, their endurance—how they survive even as they are knocked down. That dismiss the brilliant light that makes each who they are, because we all carry a unique light.When I met Brittany, a woman thriving with Down Syndrome, I discovered a woman whom we could not shrink no matter how hard we tried. Brittany embodies compassion and joy. Her laugh brings out my own every time I hear it; it is not contagious but magnetic. And Brittany is a woman lit up with purpose; from her own vision, she has birthed a nonprofit to “welcome babies and their families to the Down Syndrome family,” she says. Brittany brings hope.Brittany is now 27 years old but, when she was younger, she was involved in Special Olympics gymnastics, swimming, and horseback riding. She speaks with lots of love and joy about that experience.What I’ve learned from Brittany is when we diminish one person’s light, we diminish everyone’s; we are connected and, because we are, all voices matter. No, Brittany is not to be dismissed or shrunken or condescended to—no one is. Together, we rise.
About Ashley Asti:Ashley is a writer and creator of an organic skincare line that celebrates the beauty of all beings, exactly as they are.View less ▲