Running, crawling and marching for life: How can we measure a joy of one life?

Trk, puzanje i Hod za život: Kako se može izmjeriti radost jednog života?

March for life

I am honored to know one man. His smile is disarming and his kindness is obvious to everyone who ever met him. Some know him only through my stories because it is difficult for me to not talk about someone who has had a great influence over me. It doesn’t matter if they are six years old and can’t pronounce the “r” sound. It doesn’t matter if they can’t read (yet), and it certainly doesn’t matter that they may never be able to walk. It only matters that they are here; they are born. Sometimes it only matters that they breathe–and already they have accomplished more than some who are perfectly healthy.

These kind of people usually have some special joy—a lot larger and more contagious than the average. Faced with these kind of people, one becomes aware of the notions and truths one never thought about before: life, dignity, meaning, rights, choice, and suffering. Do we have the right to diminish suffering under every condition or should we find dignity and meaning in it? Can we choose the life we want? Are some lives more worthy than others? Where do we draw the line? Who can write off a life at its beginning and decide that it’s not worth living? Who can even define life and fit it into the narrow frameworks we create? How can we measure the joy of one life? Today it is almost humiliating to bow before something, to confess that you don’t understand that it’s larger than you. If there’s one thing before which we must do that, it is the dignity of a human life.

On Saturday, 21 May 2016, World Youth Alliance Croatia joined the first Croatian March for life. As an NGO comprised of young people who promote the dignity of every person from conception to natural death, we recognize the importance of sending the message that there are young people who rejoice in every life. I was also part of that peaceful, joyful, smiling and numerous procession. The walk itself was nothing special. For most of us it’s not a problem to walk that distance, but we walked for those who can’t walk anymore and for those who never shall. And that’s the difference. We walked for someone else, for those who are not born yet and for those who are maybe at the end of their life, because all people have inalienable human dignity. That’s why everyone who tries to see something bad in it are necessarily forced to turn a blind eye to that fact, to make digressions, personal attacks and to bring it all down to everyday politics – because the act itself is completely selfless, generous and consequently, incomprehensible for many people, as the life itself.

In Croatia and globally, World Youth Alliance aims to affirm the dignity of human life in itself. We are convinced that it is the only basis and the only common ground on which human rights can be efficiently protected in all countries and on all continents. Only when the right to life becomes the first and primary right in the minds and hearts of all people can all human rights can have their full meaning.

The boy I mentioned earlier is Vito – it means: life. He has cerebral palsy and he can only crawl. Even if he would never be able to run, his life is full of joy and we should rejoice in it. He was at the March for life on Saturday, too. And I walked for him.

Imam čast poznavati jednog čovjeka. Njegov osmijeh razoružava, a njegova je blagost i umiljatost očita na prvi pogled svima koji su ga ikad upoznali. Neki ga pak poznaju samo iz mojih priča, jer o osobama koje utječu na tebe ne možeš ne govoriti. Nije važno što imaju samo šest godina i što ne znaju reći “r”. Nije važno ni što (još) ne znaju čitati, a još manje što možda nikad neće moći hodati. Važno je da su tu, da su se rodili, ponekad je važno samo da dišu – i već su napravili više od mnogih koji su savršeno zdravi.

Takvi ljudi obično imaju posebnu radost, puno veću i zarazniju od prosjeka. Pred takvim ljudima postaješ svjestan nekih pojmova i istina o kojima nikada prije nisi razmišljao. Život, dostojanstvo, smisao. Pravo, izbor, patnja. Imamo li pravo umanjiti patnju pod svaku cijenu ili u njoj treba naći dostojanstvo i smisao? Možemo li izabrati kakav život želimo i postoje li životi koji su vrijedniji od drugih? Gdje je ta granica? Tko može otpisati život na njegovom početku, odlučiti da nije vrijedan življenja? Tko može uopće pojmiti život i sabiti ga u neke naše uske okvire? Kako se može izmjeriti radost jednog života? Kako predvidjeti sve okolnosti i donijeti tu odluku? Je li ona uopće na nama? Danas je gotovo ponižavajuće pred nečim se pokloniti, priznati da ne razumiješ i da je veće od tebe. A ako pred ičime to moramo napraviti, to je dostojanstvo ljudskog života.

Svjetski savez mladih Hrvatska pridružio se u subotu, 21.5.2016., prvom hrvatskom Hodu za život. Kao udruga mladih koja promiče dostojanstvo svake ljudske osobe od začeća do prirodne smrti, prepoznali smo važnost slanja poruke da postoje mladi koji se raduju svakom životu. I ja sam bila dio te miroljubive, vesele, nasmiješene i brojne povorke. Nisam i nismo napravili gotovo ništa, ta šetnja nije sama po sebi bila ništa osobito. Većini nas ne predstavlja neki problem prehodati tu rutu, ali hodali smo za one koji više ne mogu hodati i za one koji to nikad nisu i neće moći. I to je ključno – hodali smo za nekog drugog. Za one koji se još nisu rodili i za one koji su možda već pri kraju svog životnog puta, jer svi ljudi imaju jednako, neotuđivo dostojanstvo. Zato svi koji se trude vidjeti nešto loše u tome, nužno skreću s te činjenice, ulaze u digresije, osobne napade i svode sve na dnevnopolitičke igre – jer je sam čin u sebi i po sebi potpuno nesebičan, bezinteresan i stoga mnogima neshvatljiv, kao, uostalom i život sam.

Svjetski savez mladih u Hrvatskoj, ali i u svijetu, želi afirmirati to dostojansvo ljudskog života, samog po sebi. Mi smo uvjereni da se samo na tom temelju i samo s tom zajedničkom polazišnom točkom u svim zemljama i na svim kontinentima mogu učinkovito štititi ljudska prava. Tek kad pravo na život postane prvo i osnovno u glavama i srcima sviju ljudi, tek tada sva ostala ljudska prava dobiju svoj puni smisao.

Dječak s početka priče zove se Vito – život. Ima cerebralnu paralizu i može samo puzati. Bez obzira na to hoće li ikada moći trčati, njegov je život pun radosti i njegovom se životu treba veseliti. I on je u subotu bio na Hodu za život. A ja sam hodala za njega.

Written by Lucija Ćorić, WYA Croatia President.