sweatyswag's March Act of Kindness was in celebration of 3-21 World Down Syndrome Day!
I was inspired by Down Syndrome this month, but the meaning behind this message goes way beyond One Day. 3-21 is a Special Day every year in which the Down Syndrome community brings awareness and celebrates Down Syndrome by raising awareness through such things as wearing crazy socks, ribbons and other various events to bring attention to Down Syndrome in a very positive way. A woman I met last year , who has a daughter with Down Syndrome, made me aware of this special day and that my monthly Kindness Initiative falls on the same so I wanted to celebrate it ever since. "On the 21st we share kindness" is the heartbeat of my athleisure clothing line designed to inspire and every month I create opportunities, through my brand, to share kindness with ourselves, each other and our community through various acts of kindness in hopes to inspire others to do the same. The clothing is just my way to tell the story and hopefully create more connection with our selves and each other; the clothing is just my way to move the message.
My clothing is designed for the everyday. I am inspired by everyday people so it just makes sense that my acts of kindness revolve around people we meet, well, everyday. When I started to think of how I can highlight kids with Down Syndrome it began with my design (attached) Kindness is Special. A big part of why I am so passionate about creating these acts of kindness is because I have small children. I wanted to not only tell my kids to be kind and show them, it is so very important to me to be able to include my kids in these acts of kindness to be a witness to their own Act. That even though they are small, they too, have the power to influence and impact someone in a positive way and create the world they want to live in.
When I do these acts of kindness each month I hope that I can inspire someone to go outside of their "bubble" to create an opportunity to connect with someone new in their day-to-day. In March, our spotlight was on our friends with Down Syndrome in which we invited in to celebrate at our gym Patriot Sports and Fitness, with obstacle courses, soccer, tug-of-war cake, balloons, and a dance party of course!
We all look different, talk different, have different opinions, likes/dislikes, etc and that is what makes us uniquely us. What typically happens is that when we grow older we have a tendency to be attracted to people who act similar to us, live in the same neighborhoods, take the same routes, order the same food, even sit in the same seats, etc, etc. That's where we feel comfortable and life is manageable. We are creatures of habit and that's our "bubble;" not many surprises and not as many opportunities to grow. My kids are 7 and 4 and I want to set an example to go more in the direction of what scares us and makes us uncomfortable; or "sweaty" as I refer to it in my brand, sweatyswag. This event was to celebrate kids with Down Syndrome and all that makes us different, but more importantly all that makes us the same. My kids have yet to have many opportunities to connect and experience kids/adults with Down Syndrome and other special needs and when they do, I hope they step outside of their "bubble" and get to know these kids/adults. I want them to not be afraid to ask questions because that's where we learn and continue to evolve into the people we want to become. I want them to continue to look for opportunities to get to know others that may look different, talk different, at 4 and 7 because I hope they create habits to continue to have open minds when they are 14 and 17 and 24 and 27 and so on and so on.
I challenge you to "sweat", step outside of your bubble on the 21st of each month, but on other days too. Purposefully walk outside of your doors and look for people who may act, look, talk different than you and target them with your act of kindness. You may just find out that you are more alike than you think.
At this event we all laughed, smiled, hugged, danced and celebrated all that makes us different, but more importantly, all that makes us the same. Kindness is universal and so are we. A smile is a smile no matter where it is shared. Something funny will always make us laugh and a hug always feels good. A good song can change our mood and I believe KINDNESS toward each other can literally change the way we view ourselves and the world and THAT IS SPECIAL. Everyone is worthy of being recognized, celebrated and loved. I truly believe that small acts of kindness, everyday, can change the world we live in ...everyday.
Don't over complicate it. Just be kind. Our humanity may depend on it. ;)
To learn more about Why we share kindness on the 21st and to get involved in our Monthly Initiative please visit www.sweatyswag.com and follow us on IG @sweatyswaginspired and Facebook: sweatyswag