There’s a debate running through the more erudite sub-nets of online discussion about the morality and desirability of “curing” Down Syndrome. I’ve been pointed at two pieces by fellow Tigers and both struck a chord with me. Lisa Belkin is the New York Times Motherlode parenting blogger and she raises the basic question about the desirability of a potential cure for trisomy 21. More fundamental (in many senses) is Amy Becker’s profoundly human and personal view of the issue.
If we don’t rush to subjugate people who are not like us, then we want to cure them. Simply accepting and celebrating their differences is the root of diversity.
I’ll throw in a plug for the Best Buddies campaign to Spread the Word to End the Word, namely, the label applied to people with developmental disabilities, culminating in events on March 3rd. (Side note: If you want to know why I stopped reading “Fake Steve Jobs” and find Dan Lyons to be a less than ideal journalist, it’s because of his multi-root derivations of the same word, applied to anyone or anything he wanted to skewer.)
Conversely, an intent to drive acceptance is why Bubba and I have so much interest in Special Hockey, the DareDevils program, and Jon Schwartz’ EveryBody Skates NJ effort to allocate ice time for special needs players. Professional sports has, for decades, been a harbor of intolerance: of race, religion, language, geography. The only way to address it is to instill inclusion in the next generation of athletes.
To paraphrase Amy Becker, hockey isn’t about solving quadratic equations. It is, at its heart, about rushing to the side of a teammate, whether that’s after scoring a goal or just finishing a good shift, on the ice or off. Hockey remains a good proxy for sportsmanship in life.