Disabilities · Guest Bloggers

What Our Physically and Mentally Challenged Citizens Bring to American Society By Joe Herman

img_0584Not long ago, I read an article that said, within a generation, there would be no more children born with Down Syndrome.  If I recall correctly, it indicated that genetic advances would make this, and other disabilities non-existent.  Although I can certainly understand that people would wish to avoid these physical and mental challenges, would it surprise you that this eventuality also makes me sad?  It does. 

I have a son with Down Syndrome.  Colton is 26, almost 27.  What a joy he is.  Funny, loves music, an encyclopedic memory of music he’s heard or movies he’s seen are just a couple of his many positive attributes.  He loves going anywhere dad goes.  He holds the door open for ladies, takes the offering in church, and loves to go out to eat, and to karaoke.  Sounds normal, right?  I agree!

The older I get, the more I realize life has a “texture” we don’t always realize is there.  This texture is a combination of all the parts of our lives.  You’ve heard the old saying, “We are the sum total of all our parts”?  It’s true.  Colton adds texture to my life.  He creates that which is nearly impossible to  define.  Without him, life would be….well, not as good!  Not even close!

My point is, Colton doesn’t “take away”.  He gives….adds….enhances.  Children and adults with physical and mental challenges of all kinds do the same….they add!  I so understand people’s motives for finding the “cure” for Down Syndrome or any of the other challenges life throws at us.  What concerns me, though, is….what do we lose?

We will lose grace….humor….undiluted love….absolute loyalty.  We wouldn’t be the same.  It just isn’t possible.  We will not be as good a people.  I know I would never be as good a man without Colton.  As a result, the US will have a hollow spot where these beautiful lives once were.

Better off?  I don’t think so.

Joe Herman – Colorado blog writer.  (It’s an honor to join Miriam!)


5 thoughts on “What Our Physically and Mentally Challenged Citizens Bring to American Society By Joe Herman

  1. Joe, I completely agree with you! I believe that those of us touched by disability have an extra dimension to our lives. It is a perspective that can’t be learned from a book. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I completely agree! The world needs people of all shapes and sizes, what is seen by some as a defect is a gift for others. How can we expect to build a tolerant, caring, society when we’re all the same?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “They add” I love this. Often times we don’t see the joy that others bring into our lives. Our society is conditioned to look at the disabled with sympathy when infact we should look at the joy that they bring. Good read. Thanks!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I agree with you. I work as a care manager with Health services for children with special needs in DC. All the members add their uniqueness and originality to everything they do, say or gesture. I have learned so much from individuals with disabilities and their caregivers. Thank you for writing and sharing. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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