Have you ever actually seen a good decision?
And she was beautiful. She came into the room smiling. They all knew each other, having grown up together and gone to school together. They called her name out as she entered. Just as she would call out the names of others that came after her. "Sit here," "Sit here," "Sit here," was called to her as three different hands patted the chair next. She chose instead to come up front, "I want to be able to see the movie," she said. She had instantly noticed that Joe was testing out the dvd in the television. Throughout the training she laughed, she participated, she encouraged. At one point when the movie started and on screen a woman with Down Syndrome introduces herself as one of the trainers, she puts her hands over her mouth in shock. A quiet tear runs down her cheek. This she did not expect. Her identification with the presenter, her willingness to learn, her strong social network indicates that this is a woman living fully. A woman with Down Syndrome with a quality life. I know, in my heart that she is more than that. She is someone's active and difficult decision.
It was a good decision.
Have you ever actually talked with a good decision?
And it was fascinating.
He was telling me that he was recently married and finding the adjustment to married life a little more difficult than he had thought. "I have never had to listen so much in my life!" he says with deadpan seriousness. Then to make sure he's not misunderstood, "I really love her though, I really am glad to be married." He willingly shares of his life. Some of it has been extremely hard. The bullying, the name calling, has been and still is a major obstacle to living freely. He and his wife are careful where they go. There are some places, he says, that are just not safe. But they have neighbours who are nice, they have people around them who they enjoy, they have friends and family who support them fully. He works part time at a job he enjoys and he and his wife cook meals together every evening. That's his favourite part of the day. A guy with a disability who hasn't let the social violence of prejudice get in the way of a quality life, a guy who refuses to sink into sadness nor silence about these issues. He and his wife are in self advocacy to help make the world a better place. He too, was a difficult decision. And a very good one.
Have you ever been in awe of a good decision?
I have and it was inspiring.
Stubby fingers hand me a picture of a photograph. It is of Mother and Son. She is elderly, he is much younger. She looks at him, sees his difference, yet love pours out of her eyes. He is looking at the camera. Like he doesn't need to look at his mother to know that she is smiling, that she is loving him. He is fully confident of her love. Her face shows that she has 'the knowing' too. This boy, the one with Down Sydrome, loves her too. Whatever journey they had that led to this picture being taking was a long one. We all know that. And it began with a decision. A very good decision.
I have seen and talked with and felt in awe of the good decisions of others. I wish somehow they could know that their decision and their journey has enriched us all. We all benefit. These are lives that needed to be lived. These are people who needed to be here. These are those who we would never know that we missed, but we would have still missed them. Good decisions make the world a better place. In one day I met three good decisions. And for each of them, I am truly grateful.