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Making A Difference March 24, 2006

Posted by Anton in Light Bulb Moments.
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Anonymous 

Enjoy – and remember the humility of life.

What would you do? You make the choice! Don't look for a  punch line;  There isn't one! Read it anyway. 

My question to all of you is: Would you have made the same  choice? At a fund-raising 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 son?"

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 story: 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 if  Shay could play, not expecting much. The boy looked around  for  guidance and a few boys nodded approval, why not?

So he  took  matters into his own hands 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 put on a team shirt with  a broad  smile and his Father had 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.
Everyone knew that a hit was all but impossible 'cause 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  the other team 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 be able to 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, but 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 head of  the  first baseman, 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 ran that far but 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 second base.   

By the time Shay rounded towards second base, the right  fielder had  the ball, the smallest guy on their team, who had a chance  to be  the hero for his team for the first time. He could have  thrown the  ball to the second-baseman for the tag, but he understood  the  pitcher's intentions and 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, the opposing shortstop ran to help  him and  turned 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 those  watching  were on their feet were screaming, "Shay, 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 and died that winter,  having  never forgotten being the hero and making his Father so  happy and  coming home and seeing his Mother tearfully embrace her  little hero  of the day! 

AND, NOW A LITTLE FOOTNOTE 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 think twice about sharing. 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 on your address list  that  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 that opportunity to brighten the day of  those with us  the least able, 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.
 You now have two choices:
 1. Delete
 2. Forward

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a  single moment before starting to improve the world." – Anne Frank

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