I’m Down with You is a photography book that tells a story, visually and in words, about the incredible people met along the path. The book shows us all something deep within our hearts through the presentation of this community of amazing people. With the gift of an extra chromosome, they are in fact not “disabled” but “abled” in their ability to love without hierarchy, have a strong self-esteem and to impact everyone they touch with an uplift found too rarely in our world these days.
We have new heroes and reminders that we can overcome adversity and love without fear or restriction and to be reminded of our potential. Within the Down syndrome community, there are not words, but actions – the action of grace, love, dwelling in the present and trust. We have new heroes, they just may not have been in the form we all expected.
The book contains over 100 photographs in the form of portraits and families along with essays by Betsy Goodwin, NDSS Founder; Sharon Stone, Actor and Activist; Anthony Shriver, CEO and Founder of Best Buddies; John Mcginley, Actor and National Spokesperson for Buddy Walk; and Jagatjoti Khalsa, photographer and creator of I’m Down with You. We have received the endorsement from every organization within this community.
We have partnered with National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) and Best Buddies along with over 100 local and regional Down syndrome organizations who will be using this book to raise money and awareness for their incredible efforts. I'm Down with You is available at bookstores and other fine retailers throughout the country. Visit imdownwithyou.com to see highlights from the book.
An Excerpt from I’m Down with You
By Jagatjoti S. Khalsa
One morning, I decided it was time to be engaged in something unique, uplifting and positive. I wanted to promote something full of hope, love, and compassion. That morning, I started work on “I’m Down with You.”
This book was born from a place of deep admiration. Many people search their whole lives for peace of mind and unconditional love—pouring over self-help books, attending seminars, listening to audiotapes and praying by their bedsides for help. The simple irony is that there already exists, within the Down Syndrome community, a simpler model of emotional contentment and spiritual perfection. I’ve always felt that this extra 21st chromosome was a blessing, whereas most people misjudged it as a curse, problem or disappointment.
To capture the spirit of these individuals, I embarked on a photographic journey—meeting, learning from, and photographing members of the Down Syndrome community. What you will find on these pages is not a staged or grouping of subjects, but rather, a series of moments with people I met and befriended along the way. In the yogic Scripture it says, “Even a glance from the eyes of a holy man can cure mental and physical imbalances.”
Looking into the eyes of these extraordinary individuals is a healing experience that can cure even the most world-weary traveler. I set out to capture the essence and purity of these radiant souls by focusing on their eyes as a reminder of the perfection of God’s image. With each page, I hope you find yourself gazing into the eyes of God and letting a warm flood of grace, radiance, and love permeate your heart. Look into their gentle, joyous eyes. The eyes of grace. The eyes of acceptance. The eyes that bring our souls to the very seed of life.
I hope that you enjoy these sacred images of true and unconditional love. If you are looking for quiet heroes who emit love each time they speak or take a simple breath, you are in for a treat. You will find the absolute kindness that exemplifies the same boundary-less map we are all taught that God offers, yet it does not require you to journey to the top of a mountain or to the pulpit of a temple. It only requires you to open your eyes.