Last week the foliage was at its vibrant peak. Then the wind came and, whoosh!, all the leaves came down. The woods are barer now, but no less beautiful.
It is widely accepted that 'beauty is in the eye of the beholder', but I believe that beauty is the reflection of Truth. As Fyodor Dostoevsky famously put it, "Beauty will save the world!".
Fr. Timothy S. Reid explains how this happens one soul at a time:
"Beauty reveals or is a reflection of goodness, perfection, clarity, and simplicity. It is objectively attractive by its very nature. Beauty draws us out of ourselves toward something other. Most importantly, beauty is not something we consume, but it is something that must be contemplated in order to be enjoyed. In other words, we must receive it and allow it to shape us...Beauty is our portal to the interior life of our soul."The Year of Living Danishly: Uncovering the Secrets of the World's Happiest Country, by Helen Russell. It's a fun, light read, thanks to Russell's companionable voice and British wit.
I looked up the United Nation's Happiness Report and noticed that the happiest countries have a few things in common: they are small (less than 10 million people), prosperous nations, with a fairly homogeneous population. It makes sense that people are happier when they feel kinship with, and support from, their communities (trust), and when there is a narrow gap between the richest and poorest incomes. Diversity appears to be an impediment to happiness. The most culturally diverse countries in the world rank the lowest in happiness (e.g. Tanzania).
"The Drugging of the American Boy", by Ryan D'Agostino). Think about that for a minute: 6.4 million is more than the entire populations of most of the happiest countries in the world!
The standard treatment for ADHD is stimulant drugs that are classified as "Schedule II", which are defined as "having a high potential for abuse" and "with use potentially leading to severe psychological or physical dependence." Besides the drugs used to treat ADHD, other drugs that belong to this class are: cocaine, methamphetamine, Demerol, and OxyContin. These drugs are serious, addictive, and can come with some potent side effects. Scary stuff. Stimulants are basically a performance enhancing drug for the mind. They work in helping kids whose immature brains1 (or disordered brains) can't attend to the tedium of academic tasks. These drugs do work; but does that mean we should use them? What do you think?
This article from PBS Frontline lays out both sides of the argument: Does ADHD exsit?
ADHD is considered a neuro-biological disorder. But there is no lab test to determine if a patient has it. There is a questionnaire. There are academic and cognitive evaluations. If your child is more than a grade level behind his age mates, expect a diagnosis of ADHD and a treatment plan that consists of a prescription for a Schedule II stimulant and possibly special education.
Throughout history there has always been "no room at the inn" for anyone who doesn't fit neatly into society's standards and norms (witch hunts, asylums, The Final Solution, etc.). We think that by eliminating differences, we will all be happier. And, maybe we will. But, we will also miss the opportunity to see beauty in the other and realize the life of our own souls.
1 More than a third of children diagnosed with ADHD "outgrow" their symptoms.