Syndicated columnist Cal Thomas lost his brother a few days ago. By the world’s standards, this is no big deal. You see, Marshall Steven Thomas had Down Syndrome, a condition that is almost a guaranteed in utero death sentence. But Marshall was born and Marshall lived.
In a moving tribute from his brother, we see the value of each and every life.
How does one measure whether a life was a success, or a failure?
Some would measure it by recognition, that is, how many knew the person’s name. For others, the measure of a successful life would be the amount of wealth accumulated, or possessions held. Still others would say a life was successful if the person made a major contribution to society — in medicine, sports, politics, or the arts.
By that standard my brother, Marshall Stephen Thomas, who died January 5, was a failure. If, however, your standard for a successful life is how that life positively touched others, then my brother’s life was a resounding success.
Shortly after he was born in 1950, Marshall was diagnosed with Down syndrome. Some in the medical community referred to the intellectually disabled as “retarded” back then…