Is this where we have come to? DNA Testing for 1 year olds?

Posted Friday, February 17th, 2017. Filed Under Voices of wisdom

There is a saying, “To each their own”. I guess I was so taken aback by a recent article that I wanted to share it. I know that we are all entitled to our own opinions and while I will share mine, I respect that you may or may not agree with what I am about to write.

I do, however, pose a question and that is what kind of world do we want to exist in as human beings? I am not sure if what is happening is art imitating life or the other way around. Let me get to the article which really took me aback. It is entitled, Chinese kids given DNA talent testing, and appeared in the National Post this past week.

The article, written by Neil Connor, shares how thousands of young children and babies in China are undergoing genetic testing in an attempt to detect what talents they will develop later in life. Connor states that this trend is being pushed along by what’s referred to as “Tiger Mothers”. The result is the emergence of and growing number of “health institutes” that claim to predict the life prospects of children as young as ONE. These companies charge the equivalent of hundreds of dollars to preform the tests, which involve taking saliva swabs that are sent for lab testing. Just two short weeks later you get your results which tell the parent(s) whether their child is gifted in such areas as dancing, mathematics or painting. Parents are also given a profile of their child’s general level of intelligence, emotional understanding and concentration, and are told whether they will be introverted or extroverted.

In the article the Connor states experts are skeptical of the scientific evidence to support such techniques, and ethical concerns have been raised. He ends the article quoting Mike McNamee, a professor of applied ethics at Swansea University, who says talent spotting was a “gross oversimplification and overblown belief in the power of genetic technology. If parens want to know if their kids is going to grow up to be a great sprinter, go and watch them.”

This article really upset me. I believe we are children of God and that our life is not about the destination rather the journey and in that journey we, as humans, have ups and downs, successes and failures, learning, growing, and experimenting. I have seen children be so engrossed in a sport or activity and then wake up one day and decide I don’t want to do this anymore. By allowing a test to determine our outcome is no better than saying we are robots ourselves. We assume that we are preprogrammed for a destiny. While I do believe that we can be drawn to a passion, as I said, passions can change. There are so many points in our life in which we have choices and depending on our choice can take us down different paths. To me this is a frightening direction we are going in as humans.

What happened to wonderment and just being in the moment; letting kids be kids. We are at our most creative time when we are kids. This is when our imagination is heightened. As children get older it is often found that their creativity is less, even to the point of being stifled. I love the work by Sir Ken Robinson who says that schools kill creativity.

I say …. Let children be children. They should be able to explore many things in their life. I feel that pushing kids in a certain direction might certainly backfire, maybe not today but we will see the impact and outcome and at that point it may be too late.

It is a long weekend, Family Day, where I live and I plan on enjoying this beautiful weather.

I hope that this blog and the article I wrote about gives you some food for thought.

I want to wish you all a wonderful weekend.

All my love,

Sandra

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