“What it’s like to be a parent:
It’s one of the hardest things you’ll ever do but in exchange it teaches
you the meaning of unconditional love.”
Nicholas Sparks, The Wedding
Sometimes our attitude towards people with physical handicaps can be
both patronising and harmful.
Who are we to determine that someone’s life is not worth living?
A few years back I’d written a post…
and it just so happened that that particular post in question was written
in order to coincide with the International Day of Downs Syndrome Awareness…
that being March 21st.
Well, I’m a few day’s early of this year’s awareness day yet I’ve felt compelled
none the less to revisit that post and share a new story…
(click the link for that year’s full post)
That previous post was not simply a story about kids living with Downs Syndrome but
rather it was a post about the need to look deeper into how our world actually looks
at such kids and their families—how they all live life with such a “disability.”
That previous post piggybacked off of an article that was written by our friend
the Wee Flea, Pastor David Robertson.
The article had first appeared in Christian Today and later, David included
it in his blog.
David pointed out that “In the UK 90 per cent of babies in the womb who are diagnosed with Down’s are aborted. In Iceland it is 100 per cent and Denmark is getting close to that as well. These countries boast that they will have got rid of Down’s – what they mean is that they will have got rid of any human beings who have Down’s.
The Definition of Happiness
Iceland and Denmark were recently listed as two of the top 10 happiest countries in the world. But it does depend on how you define happiness. The criteria used were ‘income, healthy life expectancy, social support, freedom, trust and generosity’. Perhaps other criteria could also be used? I would put a parent’s as pretty well near the top of the list. Watching this video there may not be some of the other ‘happiness’ factors, but the love is clearly there. Maybe our experts need to rethink how they define happiness?”
Fast forward to this week.
While recently flipping through a magazine, an interesting article jumped out at me.
It was a story entitled
The Bread Doctor: Why a small-town doctor opened a bakery for his daughter
with Down syndrome
As I read the story, I was immediately reminded of that previous post, David’s article
and of those nations who are proud to have “eradicated” Downs.
…and at what a cost that eradication has extracted…happiness? Really?!
I knew I needed to head over to the world wide web
in search of a sharable version of the story and low and behold I found one.
I also found a lovely YouTube video about this doctor from Wyoming, the baker from Oregon
and the daughter with Downs…
David’s final paragraph from that original article still pricks the soul.
Have not previous leaders and those who seem to know what is best for all
not thought they had “solutions” for a utopian society, a “happily perfect” society??
Eradication always seems to be the answer…quick, neat and emotionless…
and yet those of us who prefer to choose life, I believe, know otherwise.
I sometimes wonder what Jesus would think of a society which is so
determined to get rid of what it perceives as the weak,
the disabled and those who don’t quite fit the ‘perfect’ mould.
But then I don’t need to wonder.
Jesus wept – and he still does.