Number one on my list this week, because it combines individuals with disabilities, families, adoption, hope, and some amazing dogs: "Wonder Dog" from the New York Times.
Number two, because it is a beautiful meditation on aging and being young, and because my beloved 91-year old grandfather broke his pelvis last week and is suffering through the beginning of recovery: "The Man Love Raised" by Mama Monk
So, why should you care about a Down syndrome diagnoses? This isn't just about Down syndrome. It's about our understanding of the common good.
The historic definition of the "common good" is the most good for all people. But today this definition has a competitor called the "public interest." In this presupposed progressive view, the most good for the most people is all that matters. Only one word changed but the implications are enormous. A commitment to the common good demands we value the elderly, the disabled, the unborn and those unlike us. It's an old, rooted conception being lost on a generation consumed with progress.
We must allow life in our world that doesn't follow our scripted narrative.
We must have the courage to choose that which is good over what is convenient.
Our fellow citizens have fought hard to encourage and protect diversity and acceptance in our society. We wear political correctness as a badge of honor; but the rising statistics of pregnancies terminated after a Down syndrome diagnosis reveal the hypocrisy of our celebration. We see equality as sameness and diversity in shades of color. We embrace differences when they fall within our market-driven, politically correct framework but rarely when they disrupt our status quo. When a fetus is diagnosed with Down syndrome and the mother chooses not to carry the child to term, more is lost than her future inconvenience and fear. The world loses another soul in its greater body.
Finally, an article written in December, but one I just had the privilege to read, "Letting Ruth Go" from the Boston Globe magazine, also about adoption, a child with a disability, grief, joy, and love.