This morning, I watched an interview between Frank Skinner and Sally Phillips discussing the views of one Peter Singer, a man who believes that humans should not automatically have the right to life and that you should be able to kill severely disabled children up to the age of three. It stunned me. Denmark has actually passed legislation to eradicate Downs Syndrome from their country by 2020. People with Downs are not faulty, they’re not wrong. They are a different kind of people, not a lesser kind of people.
Then I sat down this afternoon to help Moo with her homework. In Literacy, they have been asked to create their own superhero (because that is the kind of kickass cool school my kid goes to). Bearing in mind what Moo has been through and what she struggles with, she could have created a superhero to take away her headaches, to make her brain work better, to help her read or even one that helps her get what she wants.
But that isn’t what she created. My 8, soon to be 9, year old daughter created Friendship Girl. She’s a superhero who flies to the aid of lonely children and helps them to make friends. She wrote:
“Maya started a new school. She felt lonely. Friendship Girl flies to her and helps Maya meet new friends.”
Even if Moo was neurotypical, got 10 A* at GCSE and 3A* in her ‘A’ levels, I don’t think I would be as proud or inspired by her as I am right now. There are some things that education can not teach you. Compassion and kindness are two of them. Moo just aced those.
So Mr Peter Singer, who thinks that some disabled people don’t deserve the right to life, I say to you: spend time with them and watch what they inspire in others. You think they don’t have value but spend some quality time with them, live with them and learn what kindness, compassion, wisdom and strength are. You will be changed for the better, I can assure you.