There is this janitor at the library who hums really loud as he goes about his chores. He doesn’t sing per se, just hums. No lyrics or words, just a bunch of ooooohhh-uuuuhhhhhhhhoooooo-oooouuuuuuu. Very loud. Doing this anywhere else but the library will mostly go unnoticed. Asides the loud humming and the occasional swatting at imaginary flies around his ears, everything seems perfect with this dude. And he looks cute too. You know that short cute guy? Yea, that one. Today, while minding my own business in the library like everyone else was doing, I heard the humming from a distance getting closer and closer. Without looking up, I knew it was him and I found myself smiling and looking up. That was just the third time I was going to be seeing him but seeing that familiar face and hearing the weird, loud humming actually brightened my day. For reasons I honestly do not understand.
This guy, due to his mental state, might never be more than a janitor all his life and probably will never win laureates. In the opinion of the general. A Canadian Supreme Court recently passed into law doctor-assisted suicide for disabled people. Any sick, disabled person that feels like ending it can legally ask to have it done. Like a simple lumpectomy. Just like that, life is over for that person. I think about this cute, strange hummer and him deciding to end it all one day. There will be no need to check his state of mind or the conditions triggering the decision. He says ‘I wanna end my life’ and the answer will be ‘Yea, sure. When?’.
Now I wonder, is euthanasia really in the best interest of everyone or just the people that are uncomfortable with the extra work of taking care of the disabled person? Is the person that is disabled complaining of the life, albeit, not quality as non-disabled people see it? That the majority think a person’s life is not worth living, does not mean the person in question thinks it isn’t. Passing into law the doctor-assisted suicide was declared ‘victory for all Canadians’ by an individual. And I wonder, is it really victory for ‘all’? A number of situations and events make people (healthy and unhealthy) wish to end their lives. This law will make it easier to succumb than to actually seek help. As someone who could have easily been a wheelchair all my life, I shudder to think someone, not just someone now; but the society, will prefer to have me dead rather than fight for my life.
The simple truth is anyone can fall into the category of the disabled anytime. All it takes is a road traffic accident, spinal injury, high blood pressure that is not taken care of, getting into a bar fight or going to war to defend your family. So, when we discriminate against people we consider beneath us in physical appearance, abilities, race, gender or mental capacities, let’s think again. Anyone can fall into that category without warning. It will be better to ensure to create an environment that is home for everyone regardless of beauty or perceived abilities. To judge people based on what we believe they can contribute or see them as negative investments is just brutal. FYI, Albert Einstein and Isaac Newton were believed to have had autism, imagine if we had killed them. And Will Smith, Beethoven, Thomas Edison, Tom Cruise, Cher, George Washington, Graham Bell, Franklin Roosevelt, Leonardo DiCaprio and Keira Knightly all had disabilities. But we don’t want to kill them right, neither do we want them dead. We wanna marry them. Why then are we giving up on these people before we even give them a chance?
This hummer might be, to us, a disturbance, an aberration, a thorn in the social flesh. But to some people, he is an adorable son, a loving brother, an amazing friend and possibly a dependable father. And in another 10 years, he might prove the 4th law of motion. Just saying.