What is the value of a life like his-
At a recent provincial conference I had the opportunity to listen to reporter and Author Ian Brown, author of The Boy in the Moon. What impressed me about the author was not his story about his son, about his philosophy or any specific incident or story he told. What impressed me was his honesty, his frankness, and humanity. I bought a copy of his book The Boy in the Moon and I committed to myself to read the book in its entirety. For those who want a more fuller introduction to the bookI would recommend the books and videos listed at http://www.kacl.ca/hotlistkacl.html#boy . It is not an easy book to read - it isn’t even a pleasant book to read but at the end of the book I said to myself, “This was an important book to read”.
The theme that appealed to me the most was introduced on page 3″What is the value of a life like his-”.
This is a question that I think most every one asks of someone, sometime or other.
When I got into the disability field almost 27 years ago, the first answer I got was from a certain religious person who was conducting a funeral for an individual who had been served by our Association for many years. The answer that the religious official gave was that “he” had been born, had lived and died to bring those who were attending the funeral closer to God. In addition to thinking about how udderly weak, selfish and shallow this individuals conception of “God” was, I thought that the consumer diserved more credit. Since that time I have heard many others who have said in my consumers they saw the face of God or similar signs, when all I see is “John, Sussie or who ever is in front of me.
More meaningful to me is the phrase that I have heard from others speaking of their departed loved one, ” I miss him, he meant the world to me.”
“What is the value of a life like his?” The answerr can only be answered by a specific individual. When one says “We are all equal because we are loved equally by God”, or that “We are all equal because we are all some body’s mother and loved by that mother.” I listen politely but my thoughts are elsewhere.
The principle of equality of human beings or the principle of equality of value, is not descriptive but prescriptive. What we contribute to others or what values we hold to specific others is for that specific other to determine. The principle of the equality is not about actual contribution or value but raher about how we should treat human beings. The principle of equality makes sense to me, and I beleive that it should make sense to a society that wants a better world. Richard Wilinson and Kate Pickell in The Spirit Level, Why Equality is Better for Everyone provides soem scientific data.