Saturday, September 29, 2007

The New Aristocracy of Human Dignity

S. Michael Craven, Christian Post guest columnist, writes a insightful piece entitled “What is Normal” in today’s Christian Post.

It’s about human dignity, Down Syndrome, disabilities, and a new comparative basis for human dignity, one divorced from Judeo-Christian foundations.

Here’s something to pique your interest.

Recently, while wandering through my local grocery, I turned the corner, heading up the cereal aisle. I had no more walked ten feet when I caught the attention of a stranger – a young man in his mid-twenties – walking toward me. Upon seeing me, his face lit up and a smile spread from ear to ear. I smiled in return, his pace quickened and he marched straight over to me and with a welcoming voice said, "Hello, how are you?" I stopped, we exchanged a few friendly words and then after a hardy “goodbye,” he moved on to greet the next person similarly.

Within a moment, an elderly couple followed, keeping an eye on the young man who, I quickly surmised was their son. The grinning mother said, "He's very friendly!" I laughed, that was an understatement! I stood there silent for a moment, my spirit energized by this unusual and yet most human of encounters.

This young man was very different from me as I don't normally greet the strangers I meet each day in such a friendly and familiar manner. His congenial nature was heartwarming and he seemed to have a sincere appreciation for other people simply because they were - well - people. This man was, simply stated, better than I. Oh, he was different; he had Down syndrome but as a human being, he was still better than I. He loved without reservation or condition; he did not judge others based on what they looked like or what they were wearing; he understood the gift of human touch and kindness and was ready to share this gift with everyone he could. He was not the least bit self-conscious much less self-absorbed. There was no guile in this man. He was far closer to innocence than those of us who are "normal."

Read the rest of the article here.

[image source: This is a photo of Kayla. You may see more pictures of Kayla and read about her on her Mom's blog, Big Blueberry Eyes.]

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