Yesterday was my last day in my MLE 382: Middle Level School Concept, Structures, and Programs class with Norma Bailey. This being my second semester with her, I have found it common that she shares some words of wisdom with us as a closure for the semester. She shared something with us that I took to heart and want to remember forever. She read us this story that I will hold close to my heart throughout my teaching career.
WHAT MATTERS IN LIFE
A few years ago, at the Seattle Special Olympics, nine contestants, all physically or mentally disabled, assembled at the starting line for the 100-yard dash.
At the gun, they all started out, not exactly in a dash, but with a relish to run the race to the finish and win. All, that is, except one little boy who stumbled on the asphalt, tumbled over a couple of times, and began to cry.
The other eight heard the boy cry. They slowed down and looked back.
Then they all turned around and went back. Every one of them. One girl with Down’s syndrome bent down and kissed him and said: “This will make it better.”
Then all nine linked arms and walked together to the finish line.
Everyone in the stadium stood, and the cheering went on for several minutes. People who were there are still telling the story. Why? Because deep down we know this one thing: What matters in this life is more than winning for ourselves.
What matters in this life is helping others win, even if it means slowing down and changing our course.