Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Value of a Life

How do you measure the value of human life? Is it by net worth and material possession? Is it by great accomplishments and acts of heroism? Or is it simply just because s person lived at all? Are we as a society charting a course to where  value of life is predetermined or must be assigned?

  I am sure you are all wondering why all the questions? The other day in my Twitter stream something caught my eye. A post written by Joyce Page entitled "Perfect Babies?" on her blog, The Next Page. The following is the beginning of the post, and sums up why I am asking so many questions.

"At first, when I read it on Facebook, I couldn’t believe it.  Twins were born in Arkansas and one of them has Down syndrome. Before they were born, the twins had been planned for adoption, but apparently, the parents want perfect children, so they rejected the baby with Down syndrome and now the child sits in the hospital with a Do Not Resuscitate order on it!  Sick!"

Really? There are really people out there that would throw a human life away like that? Even worse, we have a  government system and doctors who will let that child sit and wait to die? THIS IS DISGUSTING! Since when has it been okay to deny someone, ANYONE the right to at least try? A life is a life! Where is this world going? Are we going to start abandoning children because they are ADD? ADHD? Dyslexic? What the hell, people?! *breath breathe breathe breathe*

 Okay, let's continue a little more calmly now, shall we?

 I find it deeply disturbing and completely heartbreaking that people  that there are people so empty inside that they are capable of such things. I know it is hard to raise a child with special needs. I have been around children with special needs  before, and a lot of  you are parents of a special needs child. One thing that I always notice parents of children with special needs: Your love, your heart, and your will ALWAYS drive you to be the best parent you can be. There is much love in your family. I can feel it in your words.

 No  matter what difficulties face our children, or us as parents, LOVE can rule above  all things.  Ask yourself, as a matter of fact, EVERY LAST ONE OF YOU parents reading this ask yourself: Could I see myself abandoning my child because of an "imperfection"? Could I just cast him or her   out of my life, leave them with nobody, and never turn back?

 I was a drug addict for a number of years. Eventually my parents asked me to leave home because I had become unruly, my attitude towards them was not what my parents deserved, and I caused a lot of stress in the home. But note this: They still loved me. They still talked to me and they still cared about my life, even when I didn't. When I cleaned up, I was invited right back. Arms were open, hearts were open. My imperfections were not what my parents saw first when they looked at me. They saw their son. They saw the child that God had given them, and their love for the child that never faded.

I cannot imagine my life without The Kiddos. I cannot imagine not being a dad and not having the love I have for them in my life. To my children: No matter where life takes you, and what decisions you make. No matter how angry, or how upset I may get at times, I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU. You will always be my Little Man and Little Girl. Nothing and nobody will EVER take that away. I will never abandon you. I will never leave you. I will always be your dad. I will always have this same love for you, no matter what.

TO PARENTS: Go right now, stop reading this post, and go hug your children.  Tell them you love them for them. Let them know that no matter what the world thinks, they are yours. Let them feel the love you have for them through your words, your affirmation that you will never leave them, and through your actions. Don't be a part of this growing societal belief that perfection is the norm. NOBODY IS PERFECT. And that is okay. Love is true, it is blind, it is all. It knows no boundaries and no barriers. Love your children for who they are. They will love you for it.


Anonymous said...

Beautiful reminder. I read a while back that there were dropboxes in Japan for unwanted babies and it broke my heart.

If I were home right now, I'd give my kids a hug. But you best believe they are getting a mighty hug and kiss from dad when I get home.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant post man. Wow.

J.P. said...

I remember when my son was still in the womb and the hospital offered to do an AFT to see if he had any abnormalities such as Downs Syndrome. They told us the risks. We asked what we would be able to do if the test came back positive; the doctor said, "nothing, but you may want to terminate the pregnancy if you think it's too difficult to raise a defective child." We respectfully thanked him, turned the test down, and informed him we wanted to eventually hold our son in our arms and raise him regardless of what some test indicated, or based on some arbitrary definition about whether or not he would be defective and therefore difficult to raise. I definitely appreciate your post, my friend.

Anonymous said...

"Just to be is a blessing. Just to live is holy."
--Rabbi Avraham "Abraham" Joshua Heschel

The Max Daddy said...

My immediate thought:

"Just to be is a blessing. Just to live is holy."
--Rabbi Avraham "Abraham" Joshua Heschel

The Max Daddy said...

The Story of Wabi

There's a neat little story about a zen master who came to visit a
small town. He visits the first man in the village, who serves him a meal on the best china he has. Everything is perfect, the service is perfect,
the china is the best anyone's ever seen. The zen master says nothing,
bows after the meal and leaves.

He goes to the next man's house a few hours later for dinner. The man
serves him tea using a set of china that's cracked. The meal is good,
though there's a little twig in his bowl of noodles. The service is
fine, except that the man serving the zen master trips at one point and
nearly dropped something on the master. When the meal is over, the zen master bows and thanks the man very much. He leaves the man a very precious scroll.

The first man sees this praise and adulation over what he considers
faulty service by his neighbor and, enraged, he rushes out into the
street to stop the zen master.

"Master, my meal was better. It was served on the finest china. It was
flawless service. Why did you grant that man a present instead of me."

Not bothered or hassled by this outburst, the zen master answers.

"Your meal was perfect, as you say. But this man's meal had wabi. And
that is more priceless than perfection."


It's a word that means the beauty in subtle imperfection. It's what
makes things special instead of flawless and commonplace. To me, wabi
is where it's at.

Forgotten said...

You made me cry. In the good way. Every life has value. EVERY LIFE.

Damn. I gotta go blow my nose.

Very well written. Very, very well written!

Ordinary Dad said...

totally makes me sick too. How could a parent just leave their child to die like that? Ugh!

ChopperPapa said...

Ditto the others commenters. This may be old news, but I read recently where a couple in MN has created a facebook page where they are asking for feedback to vote on whether they should abort a healthy fetus 17 weeks into the pregnancy. You can read the related story here.


When I think I've seen it all...

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