Sunday, October 28, 2012

Each one matters

It appears to be a trend nowadays to focus more on the group than on each individual. That is how today's society quite often loses sight of the real dimension of the problem. Big labs may be testing a new drug that has the potential of saving many lives in the future--but in the meantime they seem not to care about those whose lives could be saved in the here and now . . . but the drug is not sufficiently tested yet. It may be those patients' only hope--but due to potential liability issues it appears all right to the general opinion to let some people die today thinking that after all many others will be saved tomorrow. What about those people? What about their families? What about those unfinished tasks, those unfulfilled dreams, those empty spaces at some families' tables?

Quite often non-profit organizations are not an exception to this dehumanized way of looking at things. Food banks and many other institutions that collect edibles, medical equipment, clothing items, or toys for the poor may have piles or truck loads of supplies ready to be distributed at a certain event or shipped out to a pre-set location--but sometimes wouldn't spare one single item to give to someone showing up at the door with an immediate need.

Besides how unfair it is to neglect any one human being or any one human being's needs, we shouldn't forget the beneficial effect that one story with a happy ending has upon the general public and, in turn, among many others with similar or comparable needs. The successful story of one individual who won the battle against an given disease has the potential of inspiring and giving hope to many others with the same or even similar condition.

By the same token, any single successful adoption story is a call to action among a wide circle of relatives, fellow parishioners or members of the same faith community, co-workers, friends, neighbors, medical providers--and even occasional acquaintances who due to one reason or another become in contact with the adoptive family and adopted child. How many people decide to save a child after someone else in the same social circles did it? How many people lose their fear of adopting an older child after seeing a well-adjusted teenager adopted by someone else? How many people realize what a blessing a special needs child can be after a family gathering or social event where someone else's experience becomes the eye-opener they needed?

Most importantly, the adoption of children with severe developmental and physical disabilities is a strong, eloquent, powerful testimony about the infinite dignity and infinite value of human life. It is a testimony that shouts out against the fallacy of the "unwanted child" myth to which pro-choice propagandists resort in order to support the murder of babies in the womb. If more women knew that no matter what their ultrasound report may have been, their babies will be loved, cherished, nurtured, cared for, and treasured by adoptive families, there is no doubt that the number of abortions would decrease. There is no doubt that more babies would have their chance at life. There is no doubt that more precious little human lives would be saved.

We all know the famous story of the boy throwing the starfish back into the water. The boy's answer to the man who had questioned the purpose of saving one if not all could be saved was that yes, it did matter--because "it matters to this one." Everyone agrees. Then more of a reason we need to agree when instead of starfish we are talking about humans. Moreover, unlike starfish, humans nowadays have the priceless instrument of social media to share their experiences and have their voices heard. One successful story has the potential of sending out waves all across the globe for others to imitate. In plain language, and paraphrasing to some extent the Three Musketeers' motto, the successful story of one has the potential of becoming the successful story of all. And-we're not talking about three men, or three cities, or three countries--but absolutely everyone on the face of earth, over the mountains and across the seas.

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