Thursday, March 7, 2013

Intelligence is overrated


This kid's face makes me smile.  Doesn't he look like he would be the life of the party? His name is Ruslan and for those of you who don't know what "transferred" means - it means he is living in an adult mental institution now and will be for the rest of his life if not adopted.

More than one person has commented to me that people with Down Syndrome are always happy. I worked in private therapy with people with DS and other intellectual disabilities and I can assure you they are not.  Some are cranky and jaded, some have chemical dependency and some see life as a chore.  Most are a mix of these and other emotions on their bad days, and happy and content and a mix of emotions on their good days.  They are a lot like those of us without that extra chromosome or what some would call neurotypical.  They are human and unique.  Most want to know who loves them and be reminded that they are loved.  Most want to discuss how hard it is to live with an Intellectual Disability   They want to know if us neurotypical people struggle too.  They want to be reminded that they have an infinite heart and that they make a difference in the lives of those they love.

I sometimes make the statement to people that intelligence is overrated.  Which I think it is.  We rate this high on our scale and allow children with DS or other Intellectual Disabilities to languish in orphanages or die before they are born.  We don't talk about how our children will love as adults.  We discuss their careers or their college choices when we should be asking if we are preparing them to leave the world a little bit brighter.  Ruslan above does that just by smiling.

I don't know many things for sure, I allow my faith and my God to be in the know, but this one thing I do know for sure.

On the day of judgement God will not be asking our IQ scores!

He will be asking us how we were his hands on earth.  He will be asking us if we fed his lambs and his sheep.  He will be asking us how we loved his other precious children.

So if you are in line (on the day of judgement) when the person in front of you is struggling to come up with examples of how he/she left the world a little better, maybe they are trying to stall or change the subject while God taps his foot.  Be sure to take one giant Step BACK  from them, for your own personal safety, because God is not going to be impressed.  

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