Tuesday, January 03, 2006

My Thoughts On Dick Clark

I have admired Dick Clark for years. Like Pat Boone, he seemed never to get any older. Then, he had a stroke. Listening to some, it's like life ends with a stroke. I've heard so many comments on why he shouldn't be in public - 'I want to remember him like he was'.....'He shouldn't be on television in his shape'. It upsets me that people's disabilites are seen to make them inferior to the rest of the world.

I came across a great article over at California Conservative about this very topic.

Dick Clark chose to do what the late Pope John Paul II did: to show the world that a disability or ailment should not diminish the value of a person’s character or reputation, and that we should honor the disabled in the same way we in this society honor the young and beautiful among us. They should not be pushed into a corner to contemplate their own “quality of life”, but given every opportunity to continue functioning as the assets to humanity that they are, based solely on the fact that we are all made in the image of God, and remain that way to our death.

These are my exact sentiments. You don't lock up someone who has had a fruitful and satisfying life, just because he or she has had a stroke or any other disease. This is a 'killing process' - it kills the heart of a person, when they realize people don't want to look at them because they are not the way they used to be. To me, it was wonderful to see a person like Dick Clark, who was always so upbeat, debonair and a model for everyone - to come out in public with the inability to speak properly. But, I am sure it was medicine to him to be allowed back on television doing one of the loves of his life. I lived through the American Bandstand era and surely remember how he was, but it doesn't bother me one iota to see him in the shape he is in, at the moment. I admire him! In fact, it makes like worth living!

Stroke victims were inspired by Dick Clark's appearance on the show. Leean Hendrix, a former Miss Arizona, had a stroke at 26, three years ago. She thought it was awesome, and a very courageous thing for Clark to do.

"So for him to get up on national TV and say: "This is what I am now" - I have nothing but respect for him," she said.

Dick Clark is 76 years old, and has given no interviews since his stroke back in December of 2004. But, he began to immediately acknowledge his condition on the 'New Years' Rockin' Eve' show. He said it was a hard fight, learning to walk and talk again, but "I wouldn't have missed this for the world."

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Amy Proctor said...

I'm glad you liked my post on California Conservative. Your post was very well put. We truly do live in a culture of death, which is not only shallow but dangerous. If you follow the idea that the old, sick or disabled should not be seen and that their quality of life should be routinely evaluated, the strip away some of the artifical exteriors and you have Nazi Germany.

Barbara said...

It's scarey that we have come as far as we have with the death syndrome! If you have anything major wrong with you, you are labeled 'undesirable'. That is sad. If it isn't nipped in the bud, we'll see our lives disappearing before our own eyes!