Category Archives: Encouragement
Email forwarded to me by my good friend, Marsha Koenig. I wanted to share it with you.
Email forwarded to me by my good friend, Marsha Koenig. I wanted to share it with you.
At a fundraising dinner for a school that serves children with learning disabilities, 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 son?’
The audience was stilled by the query.
The father continued. ‘I believe that when a child like Shay, who was mentally and physically disabled 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 story:
Shay and I had walked past a park where some boys Shay knew were playing baseball. Shay asked, ‘Do you think they’ll let me play?’ I knew that most of the boys would not want someone like Shay on their team, but as a father I also understood that if my 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.
I 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.. I watched with a small tear in my eye and warmth in my heart. The boys saw my joy at my 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 I 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. 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’.
Shay didn’t make it to another summer. He died that winter, having never forgotten being the hero and making me so happy, and coming home and seeing his Mother tearfully embrace her little hero of the day!
AND NOW A LITTLE FOOT NOTE TO THIS STORY:
We all send thousands of jokes through the e-mail without a second thought, but when it comes to sending messages about life choices, people hesitate.
The crude, vulgar, and often obscene pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion about decency is too often suppressed in our schools and workplaces.
If you’re thinking about forwarding this message, chances are that you’re probably sorting out the people in your address book who aren’t the ‘appropriate’ ones to receive this type of message. Well, the person who sent you this believes that we all can make a difference.
We all have thousands of opportunities every single day to help realize the ‘natural order of things.’
So many seemingly trivial interactions between two people present us with a choice:
Do we pass along a little spark of love and humanity or do we pass up those opportunities and leave the world a little bit colder in the process?
A wise man once said “Every society is judged by how it treats it’s least fortunate amongst them.”
I’m a slow learner.
Under the ‘better-late-than-never’ category, I have FINALLY learned that if I do one or two things on the ‘to-do’ list, then go up to my art room or work out in the garden for a bit, returning to do something else on the list, I’m a much happier camper.
It used to be that giving myself permission to do something fun was at the bottom of the list. I don’t know how or why that happened, but I realized no one gave me points for getting 5 things done on the list, rather than 3, and I ended up tired and feeling the days were passing me by. I tried to work harder and faster, thinking if I could finish the list, THEN I could happily play. The thing was, I NEVER get to the end of the to-do list. It continues to grow.
NOW I build something happy into my day – almost EVERY day. It might be just taking a few minutes to read. It might be playing with our dogs or cats, It might be having a chat with our goldfish (although they aren’t much for deep conversations.) It might be a longer play time of working in our veggie garden or our flower planters. If I have an idea rattling around in my brain for a new art project, I might spend some time on that.
I look at this NOW as a gift not only to myself but to others with whom I come in contact. My happiness seems to show, and I can pass it on to others.
If YOU are not doing this, consider giving it a try.
“I think that life is difficult.
People have challenges.
Family members get sick, people get older, you don’t always get the job or the promotion that you want.
You have conflicts in your life.
And really, life is about your resilience and your ability to go through your life and all of the ups and downs with a positive attitude.”
After a pretty long, awful day yesterday, my husband and I are doing a bit of resting today.
I’ve been up in my art room playing, and am about to go back up in a minute. I hope to be able to share what I’ve been working on with you.
On the way back from the grocery store this morning, I asked my husband, “Will you love me forever?”
He said, “Maybe not forever, but I’ll go for the next 1,000 years.”
I’ll take it. :0)
For about a week and a half I’ve been viewing some videos by Renae Christine regarding selling handmade items online. She really got my attention when saying the several things you SHOULDN’T do – because I was doing ALL of them…. :0(
I have JUST finished creating a new store on Etsy called, ArtworthyNoteCards concentrating ONLY on selling my hand-painted cards, note card packages, and stationery packages. I am trying to look at what I’m doing in a new way, incorporating her ideas, and will see if anything happens.
Changing the way you look at things is really difficult. Maybe this difficulty is another thing that increases with age. Her videos challenged me, though, getting me get excited about trying her suggestions.
I would very much appreciate it if you would visit my new store and give me feedback on what you think when you have the time and inclination.
If the link above doesn’t work for some reason, here is the URL to my Etsy store –
We are celebrating today that WE ARE –
- NOT starting the brick laying on the second planter today
- NOT working in the yard today
- NOT cleaning the house
- AM posting happily on my blog
- AM doing meal prep for our feast tonight – hamburgers, baked beans, cole slaw, potato salad and deviled eggs
- AM taking the time to enjoy a good book
- AM enjoying being able to have front and back doors open – enjoying a wonderful breeze
- AM enjoying playing with our animals and spending time with my husband.
I hope that YOU can enjoy a “celebration of NOT” today, too!