Monday, 9 June 2008

A story about Shay - the disabled child

A good read!


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
> son?'
> The audience was stilled by the query.
>
> The father continued. 'I believe, th at 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.'
>
> S hay 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 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.
>
> Th e game would now be over. The pit cher 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, intent iona lly threw the ball high and far ov er 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 humani ty
> in to 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 s eeming ly trivial interactions between two
> people present us with a choice: Do we pass alo ng 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
>
> Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder. Help someone's soul heal. Walk
> out of your house like a shepherd. -Jalaluddin Rumi, poet and mystic
> (1207-1273)

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