A video posted to Facebook by a Canadian dad of a 5-year-old boy with Down syndrome has been viewed more than 1.1 million times. It's a must-see because it will literally turn everything you thought you knew about the condition on it's head.
"This is important for me to say. Excuse my emotion," Robb Scott captioned the five-minute clip, which begins with him telling a story about picking out a movie with his son, Turner. Another father and his two sons were also looking at movies when one of the boys asked, "What's Down syndrome?" in reaction to a certain movie he was looking at.
Scott admits the other dad wasn't trying to be cruel when he answered, "It's an illness of not knowing anything."
Scott wanted to set the record straight with this family, but didn't, which is something he regrets. "I let that ignorance grow in another generation," Scott says in the video, clearly fighting back tears. "And failed my son in the process."
Scott goes on to explain that Down syndrome is one of the most beautiful things that has ever happened in his life. "It's fun, it's brilliant, it's amazing, it's kind," he says, adding people with the condition are great teachers.
"It's not an illness!" this passionate dad proclaims. "It's not even a disability." He says just because someone runs and reads more slowly than others doesn't mean they can't teach you something: "A well-educated man does not have more to teach than my son."
Wow. These are powerful, deeply thought-provoking words.
But Scott told ABC News, "The video was really more for me because I felt like, 'OK, I dealt with this poorly and the only way I could feel better is to at least express positively what I feel. [I thought] maybe a couple of people will see it and share it and it will help them think differently."
Well, clearly his message has reached more than a few people. About his viral success, this amazing father says, "I'm trying to understand what it is that people have reacted to about this video. Somehow it's reached beyond just people with Down syndrome. It struck a cord and it's blowing me away."
I think most people are just blown away by Scott's eloquent description of his son and others like him. I know what he said will stick with me because, truthfully, I have never thought about Down syndrome this way. And for that, I thank him. He has definitely opened my eyes to an entirely new way of thinking about others, something I hope to pass along to my own children.
What is your reaction to this video?
Melissa Willets is a writer/blogger and a mom. Follow her on Twitter (@Spitupnsuburbs), where she chronicles her love of exercising and drinking coffee, but never simultaneously.