Are you prepared to tell people who have no justice in this world that they will have no justice in the next world either? The summer after teacher’s college, I worked for Community Living taking developmentally and intellectually disabled people to a summer cottage retreat. One of the realest moments of my life was when a camper with Down Syndrome broke down crying because he believed he would never have a girlfriend.
Whoever sold us the fairy tale that life was fair? They couldn’t, so they sold us the fairy tale that the next life will be fair.
I saw the movie Champions today, which was a wonderful uplifting film about aspiring Special Olympics athletes and their quest for success. I highly recommend it! One thing I’ve learned as a teacher is that success means different things to different people. For a high powered attorney, success may mean arguing a difficult case effectively, whereas for someone with schizophrenia success may mean a successful trip to the grocery store. This is what teachers mean by emphasizing a student’s personal best. Nietzsche made a similar point that a successful lawyer could be a miserable alcoholic, just as a prisoner can make a fun game of dancing in her chains.
We are all benchmarks unto ourselves: The standards of the world be damned.