Perhaps surprisingly, doing media interviews for my book, Some People Even Take Them Home” A Disabled Dad, A Down Syndrome Son and Our Journey To Acceptance usually leads me to new thoughts and ideas.
I found the interviewer for this piece published last week, particularly insightful. She wondered what I would tell people who were considering whether to keep a Down syndrome child. That is an incredibly personal decision and I could not presume to understand another persons issues, values and needs.
I did tell the reporter that I was profoundly uncomfortable when people used the argument that “Down syndrome people are so cute and lovable.” I told her I found that profoundly derogatory.
As I reflected on the question, I think I articulated a much larger truth. Jason has, without question, made the world a better place.
Now, I cannot say that was a new discovery. In fact, it is a major theme of the book. But the universality of that struck me as I talked to the reporter.
The meaning of life is way too big a subject for this modest blog, but I think most of us hunger to, in some small or big way, leave the world a better place. I find it a primal drive. Most of us want to do something that improves people or things in this raggedy world.
Jason could never articulate that for himself. But, in fact, in thousands of ways, big and small, Jason makes the world better every day.
His smile can change a room. His silly jokes warm hearts. His care and concern for others are sweet examples of what loving our neighbor really should mean. I tell countless stories in the book about how he has affected scores of people.
All the lives he has touched in his 35 years constitute a legacy many of us would be extremely proud to call our own. I shudder to think of the laughs, smiles and kindnesses that would be missing from so many lives if Jason wasn’t drawing breath. The world is indeed a better place because Jason walks among us. And, my world is immeasurably better.
Tim J McGuire is the author of “Some People Even Take Them Home” A Disabled Dad, A Down Syndrome Son and Our Journey To Acceptance