“I’m expecting a baby,” writes a future mother. “I’ve discovered he has Down syndrome. I’m scared: what kind of life will my child have?”
In response, CoorDown, an Italian organization that supports those with the disability, created the following video, answering the mother through the voices of 15 children with Down syndrome:
“Your child can be happy,” they conclude, “and you’ll be happy, too.”
Or, as Katrina Trinko summarizes: “Don’t be scared. Be excited.”
That goes for the rest of us, too.
Those with cognitive disabilities face enormous disadvantages in modern society, one of which is the basic belief that their lives are somehow lesser than the rest: less valuable, less worthwhile, less fulfilling, etc.
In the United States, roughly 90% of babies diagnosed with Down syndrome are aborted, a trend that has claimed the lives of more than 55 million children thus far. This is an extremely dark corner of American life, one based in selfishness, yes, but propelled by a contorted and distorted view of human worth, dignity, and possibility.
Similar to the perspective of Tim Harris, a restaurant owner who was born with Down syndrome, the message from these children booms with hope and optimism. Each person is born with a unique calling and capacity, to contribute and participate, create and collaborate, give and receive, love and be loved. They will be there to give kisses and hugs, to help their parents, to work and earn a living, and to share with others in the fullness of life. These are dreams that the full realm of humanity shares, and we ought to embrace and protect all who tread that path, regardless of this or that “disability.”
Our most basic attitudes and assumptions — our primary hopes and fears — have a profound impact both on how we serve those in need. But they also have an impact on how or whether we are prepared to receive the gifts that those very people bring. Whether in the family or the church, in business or policymaking, we must give of ourselves, certainly, but we must also provide room for others to flourish as they, too, were created to do.
As World Down Syndrome Day approaches, let’s seize another opportunity to diminish the darkness and celebrate the gifts that these people bring to the world.
HT: Sara Torre
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For the Life of the World is an entertaining film series that explores the deeper meaning of Salvation. Have you ever wondered, “What is my Salvation actually FOR?” Is it only about personal atonement, about getting to heaven, or something that comes later? Is it just to have a “friend in Jesus?”
Join Evan Koons and his friends – Stephen Grabill, Amy Sherman, Anthony Bradley, Makoto Fujimura, John M. Perkins, Tim Royer and Dwight Gibson – as they discover a “new perspective,” the BIGGER picture of what it means to be “in the world, not of it.” This seven-part film series will help you, your friends, church or organization investigate God’s Economy of All Things – OIKONOMIA (a Greek word that has a lot to say about God’s plan for his creation, the world, and us.)
This Combo Pack includes a letter from Evan and two discs for your player of choice: DVD and Blu-ray. Enjoy seven episodes around 20 minutes each, along with episode teaser videos, a series trailer, and bonus content.
Explore how God’s purposes are woven into every area of our lives: family, work, art, charity, education, government, recreation and all creation! The Bible calls us Strangers and Pilgrims, living in "the now and not yet" of God’s Kingdom Come on earth. We are also called to be salt and light, to have a transforming presence among our neighbors. Rediscover the role of the church and how our lives lived on earth matter in God’s plan for the world.
Designed for deep exploration, the series invites viewers to watch the series again for new insights. Also, check out the companion Field Guide to jump-start group and individual investigation and enhance the film experience! FOR THE LIFE OF THE WORLD Field Guides are available in print or via streaming access at StudySpace.org.