Sometimes we don’t like the stories that we’re unwittingly or unwillingly written into. At other times, we realize that it may not be the story we imagined, but it’s our story and we’re going to find a way to live that story to its greatest potential.
Rick and Abbie Smith are examples of the “it’s our story and we’re going to live it well” idea.
When their son, Noah, was born with Down Syndrome, the Smiths realized they had a choice to make. That choice, to make a surprising story a better story for themselves and others, is being catalogued in Rick’s blog, NoahsDad.com.
Rick and Abbie want to change attitudes about children born with Down Syndrome, a condition that occurs when the body has an extra chromosome. That one chromosome makes a difference, but the bigger difference comes from people who aren’t exactly sure how to respond or react to those who have it.
NoahsDad.com is working to change that. Change comes when stories are told, and Rick realized that Noah’s story could be told in one-minute video segments and thoughtful blog posts from a father smitten with his infant son.
In one of his recent posts, Rick wrote about “3 Things Our One-Year-Old Son Wants You to Know About the Power of Story.” What we can learn from this one-year-old applies to every area of our life where story is important, which is to say it’s important for every area of our life.
Here are the three things:
1) Your story is powerful.
2) Stories remove the veil of fear from people’s lives.
3) Hidden behind the veil of fear is hope.
“Your story has power,” Rick says.”Tell your story. Trust me. You may think no one is listening. You may think that no one cares. You may think your story doesn’t have any impact. You may think you don’t even have a story to tell. Guess what….you are wrong.”
Rick’s right. Many of us somehow know we have a story to tell. Some of us might even realize we have a great story to tell. But when a story has an edge of greatness about it, we might feel overwhelmed in trying to tell it. Rick’s telling an amazing, overwhelming story one minute at a time. He captures one moment one day, another moment the next day. When those moments are woven together, the story’s being told in its grand magnitude.
The Smith’s story is being heard. Just a couple of weeks ago, Rick praised a recent Target ad’s positive treatment of kids with Down Syndrome on his blog and it went viral. It has gotten coverage from news agencies and networks around the world, and in just in the last couple of weeks alone, millions have been introduced to Noah’s story.
As a parent, you’ve got a director’s chair view of the stories your children are living, and no one knows their stories better than you do. Take a cue from Rick and Abbie Smith. Help your kids interpret their story to realize that they are important, that they are loved, that they have a place, and that they have a powerful narrative to share with the rest of the world.