“Tomorrow” is one of my favorite songs from Annie. I used to love turning on the record player in my family’s basement and belting out the song as loud as I could.
Of course this only happened when no one else was home. Having five siblings I was careful to limit criticism of my vocal abilities as often as possible. But this song still is my favorite one to sing when life appears to follow a course not in keeping with my aspirations.
Or as my grandmother used to say, “We make plans and God laughs”.
On another perspective though, I do have good thoughts when ‘thinking about tomorrow’ in America.
We are a nation that celebrates differences, or are trying to. We embrace new foods, we try new activities, we are open to other’s opinions and try to understand their perspectives. And it will only become better.
Regardless of our religion, race, culture, gender we eat together, pray together, copy one another in dress and slang. We laugh together, cry together, work together, learn together and we compete together. This is America.
And when I think about tomorrow in America I know the differences some may still have, the prejudices many may still harbor towards those with different abilities is also changing.
Recently my sister told me about a wonderful organization called Able To Work USA which is dedicated to opening the employment opportunities to people with Down Syndrome and other developmental issues. Their goal, as their website states “aims to create more inclusive workplaces while at the same time recognizing the potential of every individual.”
Every one born with Trisomy 21 is different and unique, each have traveled a different road to become the person they were born to be…just like everyone else in America. Able To Work USA is opening the doors of established businesses, letting individuals with different abilities enter the same bus and sit in the same rows as everyone else . These individuals want to work, are able to work, and can provide businesses with untold dedication and love for their jobs. And they are excelling!
October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month. Educate yourself on the opportunities to celebrate and embrace the differences in all people. If you own a business access the information available on AbleToWork.org and hire someone with a different ability. You will be surprised at the caliber of their character, knowledge, and skills.
“Civilization is the encouragement of differences.” Mahatma Gandhi. And it will only get better the more we include those with different abilities.
Just think about tomorrow!