Friday 30 August 2013

Inspired: Down's Upside

It's Friday again. It's the end of Winter and as a send off, Mother Nature is celebrating Winter's departure by blessing (some could disagree) Sydney with 26 degree heat. Sadly, I am indoors all day working hard and spending my lunch break writing this here blog.

I needed to write this one though. I couldn't leave it.

Every morning I shamefully check all forms of my social media - Facebook, Instagram, Blogger and Pinterest - this in itself is shocking! It's become part of my daily routine and I've now found myself spending most of my time looking at a screen more than anything else.

This isn't the point of my blog though. Something much bigger is.

Today, scrolling through my Pinterest feed, I came across some photos that made me double take for a second. I didn't double take because it was weird, or abnormal. Nor because it was funny-looking or different. It was because it was beautiful.

These photos were of two young children. Two young children whose faces are so pure and innocent but most of all they were happy. I don't think I've ever been struck so hard by how precious little humans are and how happy I am to see the happiness in them. 

That was the whole point of these photos taken by Eva Snoijink. She started a project called Down's Upside in an attempt to show the world the upside of downs. She took portraits of over 100 children, 100 happy children, 100 children of God (just like you and me). The sad truth is that a lot of people don't consider them to be in the same 'category' as you and me, they are labelled as "different" and many other terrible things that make my heart hurt. I don't understand why we, as a society, have to be so cruel to those who don't measure up to our standards. In my opinion, I have never met people more passionate, loving and gentle-hearted than those who are born with DS. I think that maybe they should be the ones looking down on us for how selfish and cruel we can be. Funny thing is, I don't think they would ever do that.

I remember asking my parents if they ever did the 'test' when they were pregnant with me. My mum was older when I was conceived so everyone pushed her to take a test for this and a test for that. My parents though told me "We didn't want the test because it didn't matter to us. What mattered was that, no matter what, you were our child, and we loved you regardless of any label society may lay upon you".

I remember feeling warm after hearing that. Just like how I feel warm after scrolling through some of the photos taken by Eva. Theres no downside to downs, just an up. Can you see it yet? 

These children inspired me today, they inspired me so much that I've been tearing up all throughout writing this piece. They inspired me to remain humble in my life, to remain content with the countless blessings I receive, and to remain living my life in God's image - because thats how I was made, thats how they were made and thats how YOU were made.

"So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; 
male and female he created them" Genesis 1:27 

Photos taken by Eva Snoijink. All credit goes to her and the beautiful faces in these photos.

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