“Congratulations!”  It was a simple word, spoken with a smile, that made all the difference in the world to two new parents.

Yes, just one word.  It’s amazing how one word can be so important!

In the early 2000s, a California couple (Sara and Jason) had their first child, whom they named Ben.  When Ben was born, they discovered he had Down Syndrome. For the first week after his birth, they were depressed, not because he had Down Syndrome but rather because they didn’t know if they would be good parents to a child with special needs.

Everything changed for them when the doctor walked into the room for a routine post-birth consultation.  “Congratulations!” he told them with a beaming smile.

From that moment onward, everything was different for Sara and Jason.  They realized they had been blessed with a differently abled child, one who was special and precious in so many ways.

They embraced Ben and vowed to give him the best possible life, one filled with love and care and understanding.  They have created a rich and affirming home, one where Ben flourishes his way—on his terms.

There are difficult moments, to be sure, but these moments are far outweighed by the simple beauty of their family life together.

Sara and Jason and Ben know firsthand how one word—one good word—spoken at the right time can be pivotal, even lifechanging.

Most of us will find ourselves in situations where we can make a difference by saying one word.  And most of us, too, have been or will be in situations where the right word at the right time can really help us.

This is the power of caring.  A generous spirit reaps many rewards.  When we care, when we show kindness, we live the way we want to live.  We create the world in which we want to live.

Words matter, and we matter.  Word by word, gesture by gesture, we show our love for life and one another!