Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Think about it

I have no idea if this is true but it does make you stop and think. What do we teach our kids these days?
What's more important, winning or doing good? Boasting about winning or helping someone?
I saw a little girl on TV this week who had lost her mother to cancer, they did all kinds of things the last summer her mother was alive, Disney, camping, traveling. When asked what the little girl remembered most, she said, "having Cheerio's with my mom at 2 in the morning". Not, meeting Mickey Mouse, not flying in an airplane, not anything that costs money, just having a bowl of cereal, all by herself with her mom. hmmmmm, what are we spending our money on these days?

Cereal Memories or Useless Stuff?
Not just on our kids but on our friendships. Is the amount of money spent more important than time spent? think about it.
Now read below and take it or leave it.

What would you do?. . .
You make the choice. Don't look for a punch line, there isn't one.
Read it anyway. My question is: Would you have made the same choice?

At a fundraising dinner
for a school that serves learning-disabled children, the father of
one of the students delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by
all who attended. After extolling the school and its dedicated staff, he
offered a question: "When not interfered with by outside influences,
everything nature does is done with perfection. Yet my son, Shay,
cannot learn things as other children do. He cannot understand things
as other children do. Where is the natural order of things in my

The audience was stilled
by the query.

The father continued. "I
believe that when a child like Shay, physically and mentally handicapped
comes into the world, an opportunity to realize true human nature
presents itself, and it comes in the way other people treat that child"

Then he told the following

Shay and his father had
walked past a park where some boys Shay knew were playing baseball.
Shay asked, "Do you think they'll let me play?" Shay's father
knew that most of the boys would not want someone like Shay on their
team, but the father also understood that if his son were allowed
to play, it would give him a much-needed sense of belonging and some
confidence to be accepted by others in spite of his handicaps.

Shay's father approached
one of the boys on the field and asked (not expecting much) if Shay
could play. The boy looked around for guidance and said, "We're losing
by six runs and the game is in the eighth inning I guess he can be
on our team and we'll try to put him in to bat in the ninth inning."

Shay struggled over to the
team's bench and, with a broad smile, put on a team shirt. His Father
watched with a small tear in his eye and warmth in his heart. The boys
saw the father's joy at his son being accepted in the bottom of the eighth
inning, Shay's team scored a few runs but was still behind by three.
In the top of the ninth inning, Shay put on a glove and played in
the right field. Even though no hits came his way, he was obviously
ecstatic just to be in the game and on the field, grinning from ear
to ear as his father waved to him from the stands. In the bottom
of the ninth inning, Shay's team scored again. Now, with two outs
and the bases loaded, the potential winning run was on base and Shay was
scheduled to be next at bat.

At this juncture, do they
let Shay bat and give away their chance to win the game? Surprisingly,
Shay was given the bat and everyone knew that a hit was all but impossible
because Shay didn't even know how to hold the bat properly, much less connect
with the ball.

However, as Shay stepped
up to the plate, the pitcher, recognizing that the other team was
putting winning aside for this moment in Shay's life, moved in a few steps
to lob the ball in softly so Shay could at least make contact. The
first pitch came and Shay swung clumsily and missed. The pitcher
again took a few steps forward to toss the ball softly towards Shay.
As the pitch came in, Shay swung at the ball and hit a slow ground
ball right back to the pitcher.

The game would now be over.
The pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could have easily thrown
the ball to the first baseman. Shay would have been out and that would
have been the end of the game.

Instead, the pitcher threw
the ball right over the first baseman's head, out of reach of all
team mates. Everyone from the stands and both teams started yelling, "Shay,
run to first! Run to first!" Never in his life had Shay ever
run that far, but he made it to first base. He scampered down the
baseline, wide-eyed and startled.

Everyone yelled, "Run
to second, run to second!" Catching his breath, Shay awkwardly ran
towards second, gleaming and struggling to make it to the base. By
the time Shay rounded towards second base, the right fielder had
the ball. . the smallest guy on their team who now had his first
chance to be the hero for his team. He could have thrown the ball
to the second-baseman for the tag, but he understood the pitcher's
intentions so he, too, intentionally threw the ball high and far over the
third-baseman's head. Shay ran toward third base deliriously as the runners
ahead of him circled the bases toward home.

All were screaming, "Shay,
Shay, Shay, all the Way Shay"

Shay reached third base
because the opposing shortstop ran to help him by turning him in
the direction of third base, and shouted, "Run to third! Shay, run
to third!"

As Shay rounded third, the
boys from both teams, and the spectators, were on their feet screaming,
"Shay, run home! Run home!" Shay ran to home, stepped on the
plate, and was cheered as the hero who hit the grand slam and won
the game for his team.

"That day", said
the father softly with tears now rolling down his face, "the boys
from both teams helped bring a piece of true love and humanity into
this world."

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