Monday, November 06, 2006

Two choices

I have seen this story before, but it always brings tears to my eyes for its beautiful message of love.  So, on this day when the Republicans are playing all kinds of dirty tricks to keep Democrats from voting tomorrow, I send this to you in the hope that, because of its power, love will prevail in our world.  Each of us always has two choices: to do what is right or to take the low road.  The Republicans under Rove are making their choice.  Tomorrow we American voters will have a chance to make ours. 

Here's a wonderful story of young boys who took the high road--the right road, and gave us all a model to follow:
     What would you do? 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 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
       (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 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
       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
       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 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 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.
       You now have two choices:
       1. Delete
       2. Forward
       May your day be a Shay Day.  
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