Some people seem to have an innate calmness about them, along with a natural gift for empathy.
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Ever since Welles Peterson of Salt Lake City, Utah, was born six years ago, his family recognized these qualities in him. Welles was born with Down syndrome and has a knack for seeking out people who need a little extra love and attention. For him, empathy comes as naturally as breathing, which comes in handy on occasion.
Welles’s mom Oakley Peterson says her son has a “magical” ability to recognize when another person is in pain. “At every family reunion or big dinner, he finds the person struggling,” she explained. “My sister was pregnant and knew her baby would pass away shortly after birth. Usually, I can’t get Welles to sit still. But he would just sit with her and hold her. He knows how to sit with someone in their grief.”
After her sister’s baby was born and remained in the NICU for four months, Welles continued to support his aunt on an emotional and physical level. “Individuals with Down syndrome can feel other people’s emotions in a way that’s impossible for the rest of us,” Oakley said.
Welles’s natural compassion was on full display recently, when Oakley was babysitting her neighbor’s new baby, Alek. The infant refused to settle down, crying inconsolably as the mother of three did everything she could to soothe him. When Welles came over and asked to hold the baby, she figured “why not?”
“Alek would not calm down. Nothing I did would calm him,” said Oakley. Welles “asked to hold Alek and within seconds the baby calmed down.” Oakley took a short video of the interaction and shared it on Facebook, where it quickly went viral. People were blown away by the tender way the 6-year-old held the baby, dubbing him “the Baby Whisperer.”
Oakley thinks people were so impressed by the video of her son because it’s “a reminder that in all the chaos there’s so much good in the world.” We couldn’t agree more! Take one look at the way Welles holds that baby and you’ll see the depth of goodness and love that lies in the hearts of every human. All we have to do is learn to tap into it as this little boy does.
Watch the “Baby Whisperer” in action in the video below, and don’t forget to share.
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