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This collection was inspired by a meme posted to a Facebook group. This particular Facebook group sort of exists for the sole purpose of encouraging and inspiring people. I don’t know and have never even met more than 90% of the people that make up the group, but this particular post from a friend really struck a chord.

 

Love > Fear.

 

I warned her that I’d be stealing this idea and thanked her for sharing it. It’s easier to be a pirate than a pioneer!

I’ve always been fascinated by fear and the effects that it can have. On the one hand it is a very useful survival tool, and can be necessary to help protect oneself. On the flipside; fear can at times be completely irrational, rather limiting and downright detrimental. Recognizing fear, analyzing the emotion and eventually overcoming it is a skill that I am far from mastering but continue to work on.

In her post, she explained how life really boils down to these two emotions. Every awareness or emotion or action that is not coming from a place of love is coming from a place of fear. To some that may seem over-simplistic, but to me there is so much truth in that thought.

 

I immediately thought of Xtra Apparel and how balanced the scales initially were between Love and Fear. It is scary starting a business. It is especially scary starting a business that you have no experience in and know very little about. What if it fails? Where will I find the time? What if no one buys anything? How do I even get started and go about this? What if I mess things up?

The fear was very real. So real, it nearly prevented me from ever getting started. I’m glad love prevailed. My love for my brother, for my mother and for my whole family wouldn’t let fear stop me, and for that I am grateful.

 

Love > Fear

 

It was more than that though. It was bigger than me and certainly bigger than Xtra.

The second I saw Love > Fear it almost immediately dawned on me that “Love > Fear” applies to Down syndrome as well.  Like a lot! A lot a lot! There is a ton of fear tied to Down syndrome. Fortunately, there often is also a lot of love as well. It quickly became something that I wanted to put on a shirt and raise awareness about.

 

Were you aware that although reliable data is scarce, it is estimated that in the U.S. 67% of prenatal Down syndrome diagnosis’ end in termination? I want to repeat that for the sake of helping it sink in. 67%. It’s even higher in many other countries throughout the world.

 

This fact frustrates me immensely. It is an instance of the angle bracket facing the wrong direction. Where love is not greater than fear. It’s backwards. Two out of three is such a very unfortunate reality.

 

I don’t wish to come off preachy or judgmental. I’ve never been in the shoes of someone faced with a diagnosis and having to make that decision. As I mentioned, there is plenty of fear that comes with Down syndrome.  Will there be health complications? Physical limitations? Will they fit in? Be accepted? Go to college? Have a career? Independence? Will he or she ever marry? Find love?

 

I can’t imagine the rush of emotions and everything going through one’s head at a moment like that, and I don’t wish to point the finger at any one individual. I instead aim it all of us. Society in general.

Why does that much fear still exist for this statistic to remain? How can the scales still be tipped so heavily in favor of fear? That needs to change, and this particular design is a calling for just that. Change.

 

When I look at societies acceptance and inclusion for those with Down syndrome, a lot of progress has been made over the years. So many advocates have worked tirelessly on making changes to benefit those born with Down syndrome. But there is still so far to go!

There remains far too much fear around a topic full of so much love. I can think of no better time than the present to work on tipping the scales away from fear and back in favor of love. Let’s let love reign.