Is Anybody There?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says Yahweh Sabaoth" Zach 4:6 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dio di Signore, nella Sua volontà è nostra pace!" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin 1759

Monday, January 09, 2012

A TRULY Valuable Life

Cal Thomas has long been 1 of my favorite columnists. I may not always agree 100% with him but he always presents his reasons in a well thought out manner.
On 5 Jan 2012, his younger brother Marshall passed away. Marshall's story is a reminder of how our treatment of people with Down syndrome has changed in the past 60 years. In the 50s society as a whole placed little value on them as human beings. For many a "retarded" child was aproblem because they were considered an embarrassment to be hidden away. As Thomas points out, the solution was to lock them away in an institution where they received minimal care.  Fortunately, things changed in the 60s, especially through the efforts of the Kennedy family, especially Eunice Kennedy Shriver. Sadly, things have once again changed for the worse. Instead of valuing them as God intends us to, they are again looked on as an embarrassment & even worse, an inconvenince for about 90-92% of their parents. The reason I say 90-92% is because that is the percent of people with Down syndrome who are aborted after prenatal tests diagnose them with it.
Back in my hign school & college days, I did a lot of volunteer work with Down syndrome children & adults. At the time they were still labelled "retarded" but it wasn't seen as a negative like it is today. Yes, there were some difficulties, just like with any children or adults at times. But for the most part, they are as close to pure love as you can get here on Earth. 
Thomas' tribute to his brother catches exactly why EVERY human being, EVERY life, has value. & why we have lost so much because our society no longer puts value on anyone that may ask of us a little more & requiring us to make even a little sacrifice to do so.   

My brother’s valuable life
Tribune Media Services
How does one measure whether a life was a success, or a failure?
Some would measure it by recognition, that is, how many knew the person’s name. For others, the measure of a successful life would be the amount of wealth accumulated, or possessions held. Still others would say a life was successful if the person made a major contribution to society — in medicine, sports, politics, or the arts.
By that standard my brother, Marshall Stephen Thomas, who died January 5, was a failure. If, however, your standard for a successful life is how that life positively touched others, then my brother’s life was a resounding success.
Shortly after he was born in 1950, Marshall was diagnosed with Down syndrome. Some in the medical community referred to the intellectually disabled as “retarded” back then, long before the word became a common schoolyard epithet. His doctors told our parents he would never amount to anything and advised them to place him in an institution. Back then, this was advice too often taken by parents who were so embarrassed about having a disabled child that they often refused to take them out in public.


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