A Matter of Perspective

This essay was originally posted on a blog by “An American” in April 2005.
Reposted with the author’s permission.

If you watch some shows on early societies, they sometimes find a member that was crippled and obviously cared for. Now in those days survival was very iffy. They laud how advanced these early societies were in caring for the less fortunate despite the burden.

Nowadays, cost is measured in dollars, and apparently there is a cutoff. If our society were just as advanced, maybe we would tolerate and care for the Down’s baby, the autistic, or even the cleft lip baby despite the cost.

I remember the old saying – when they came for the Jews I did nothing, they came for the Catholics, I did nothing. When they came for me there was no one left to stand for me. Here is the new version for this century:

They came for the Down’s syndrome babies. It was all right. None had an IQ above 100.
They came for the autistics. It was all right. None of them had a lick of common sense.
They came for the cleft lip and palate. It was all right. They were hard on the eyes.
Then they came for those who had a 50 percent chance of developing diabetes within their lifetime based on their genes. That was me.

Everybody had an IQ above 100 to see the logic.
Everybody valued being a member of the group so much not to risk ostracism by standing up.
Everybody was too busy admiring themselves in the mirror for they were beautiful.
No one was left that would stand for me.