I think you would be hard-pressed to find someone with a bonus chromosome who isn’t pleasantly and/or brutally honest. Down syndrome honesty goes both ways.
To Any Girl Who Just Wants a Guy Who is Honest: You Need to Meet Jack.
I never need to wonder how Jack is feeling. I’m never confused about what he thinks. I might have wondered about ulterior motives, but I don’t think Jack has ever had one. Jack’s bonus chromosome has been a breath of fresh air to our family, particularly when it comes to the rest of the family needing to tolerate me, as a dad. I don’t mean to demonize myself, but let me fill you in… 1) Overachieving oldest child. 2) Type “A” personality. 3) Over analytical but firmly decisive. 4) Opinionated. 5) Right 99.999% of the time. (See what I mean?) Jack is the fresh air to my industrial pollution. And one of my favorite parts about him is Down syndrome honesty.
I believe that much of my son’s success comes from Down syndrome honesty.
I hate to promote a stereotype of people with Down syndrome always being cheerful, because that’s not a correct understanding. But Jack’s bonus chromosome seems to intensify an uplifting personality that is uniquely his. His happy face and animated greetings have earned him quite a position of popularity in our small mountain town. I believe that much of my son’s success comes from Down syndrome honesty. You see, when Jack begins to talk to you, and chuckles as you greet him, he really is that happy to see you. When he wishes you a happy birthday and flaps his hands like a nervous sparrow, in excitement for your special day, he really does hope that you have the best birthday, ever.
Down syndrome honesty goes both ways.
Though I mentioned that not all people with Down syndrome are as cheerful as my son is, I think you would be hard-pressed to find someone with a bonus chromosome who isn’t pleasantly and/or brutally honest. Down syndrome honesty goes both ways. If you have hurt their feelings, you are going to hear about it. If Cade doesn’t want to get on the bus to go to school, eventually, you’ll take him (and your new black eye) back home. I don’t know why, but somehow that extra chromosome seems to be tied to a need to be emotionally honest, and that’s what I’m talking about when I talk about Down syndrome honesty. I wonder if most of us are missing and odd chromosome because it seems to me that if God wanted to ensure that we be honest, He might have accomplished that by giving us all Down syndrome.
Down syndrome honesty is often good for a chuckle, even during difficult times.
The other day I witnessed Down syndrome honesty in its purest form. One of Jack’s high school friends, who also has Down syndrome, was rushed to the hospital after a tragic bicycle/car accident. Fortunately, a helmet prevented brain injuries, but until critical internal injuries could be ruled out, there was great cause for alarm. As it turns out, a broken shoulder blade and some serious road-rash were the worst of it. The next day, as we told our son about his friend’s unfortunate accident, he cried. He would have taken her pain, himself, if it could have removed it from her. I dare say that he would do the same for you, even if he doesn’t know you. (He also would have taken the ride in the ambulance with blaring sirens and the hospital to hospital transfer in a helicopter. In fact, his Down syndrome honesty expressed that the pain and injuries would have been worth it for such an experience.) Down syndrome honesty is often good for a chuckle, even during difficult times.
I have written before about the good things that come with a bonus chromosome. But of course I know that the world wouldn’t be a better place if everyone had Down syndrome. We all have our talents and most of us choose to improve the world with them (some more than others). I think that’s my point. We are all different. We all have talents and abilities and no one is more important than anyone else. We need to slow down and observe others so that we can learn from them. And one of the things I have learned from observing my friends who have bonus chromosomes, is that I would be a much better person if I lived my on life with Down syndrome honesty.
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