Every One can Play

Image result for severely disabled child playing baseball

Value : Love

Subvalue : Humaneness, Kindness, compassion

At a fundraising dinner for an American 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 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 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 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!

Learning

One small act of love and compassion can go a long way in healing someone’s heart.

Source: Rabbi Paysach Krohn, a popular lecturer and best-selling author of the ArtScroll Maggid series of short stories

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The great battle

Value : Right conduct

Subvalue : Avoiding gossip and slander

wizard

Once upon a time there was a Wicked Wizard. One night the wizard visited a city and stole a thousand tongues from its sleeping inhabitants. He took these tongues and cast a spell on them. The spell meant that these tongues could only say bad things about people. Then the wizard returned the tongues to their owners, who suspected nothing.
In very little time, that city was filled with the sound of people saying bad things about each other,
“Yes, he did that, she did the other, boy, was that guy a bore, and the other guy was really clumsy…”
Soon everyone was angry with everyone else, and this brought the Wicked Wizard no end of satisfaction.
On seeing all this, the Good Wizard decided to intervene with his own powers. He cast a spell on the ears of the city dwellers. Under this spell, whenever the ears heard people criticising others, they would close up tightly, so that nothing could be heard.
And so started the great and terrible battle between tongues and ears. The one endlessly criticising, the other blocking all this out.
Who won the battle? Well, with the passing of time, the tongues started to feel completely useless. Why talk if no one was listening? Being tongues, they liked to be heard, so they gradually started to change the kind of things they would say. When the tongues realised that saying good things about people meant they would be listened to once again, they were filled with joy, and forgot forever the spell they had been under.
Even to this day, the Wicked Wizard continues casting spells on tongues all over the world. But thanks to the Good Wizard now everyone knows that to put an end to gossiping, all one has to do is pay no attention to it.

Learning

Always speak good and listen to the good. We cannot avoid the people around us who might gossip; but we always can choose to hear only what we want to and of course our tongue is in our control so let us give a thought before we speak.

Who you are speaks louder to me than anything you can say!

Value : Optimism

subvalue :  Right choice

At the beginning of my 8:00 a.m. class one Monday at University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), I cheerfully asked my students how their weekend had been. One young man said that his weekend had not been very good. He’d had his wisdom teeth extracted. The young man then proceeded to ask me why I always seemed to be so cheerful. His question reminded me of something I’d read somewhere before: “Every morning when you get up, you have a choice about how you want to approach life that day”, I said to the young man. “I choose to be cheerful”. “Let me give you an example”, I continued.The other 60 students in the class ceased their chatter and began to listen to our conversation.As soon as I got here, I called AAA and asked them to send a tow truck. The secretary in the Provost’s office asked me what had happened. “This is my lucky day”, I replied, smiling. “Your car breaks down and today is your lucky day??” She was puzzled. “What do you mean?”

prof

“I live 17 miles from here”, I replied. “My car could have broken down anywhere along the freeway. It didn’t. Instead, it broke down in the perfect place: off the freeway, within walking distance of here. I’m still able to teach my class, and I’ve been able to arrange for the tow truck to meet me after class. If my car was meant to break down today, it couldn’t have been arranged in a more convenient fashion.” The secretary’s eyes opened wide, and then she smiled. I smiled back and headed for class.’ So ended my story to the students in my economics class at UNLV.

I scanned the 60 faces in the lecture hall. Despite the early hour, no one seemed to be asleep. Somehow, my story had touched them. Or maybe it wasn’t the story at all. In fact, it had all started with a student’s observation that I was cheerful.

A wise man once said: “Who you are speaks louder to me than anything you can say”. I suppose it must be so.

Learning

Seeing the positive in any situation can keep us happy and cheerful.

Author: Lee Ryan Miller

The Black Dot

black dotValue : Optimism

Subvalue : Open minded, counting our blessings

One day, a professor entered his classroom and asked his students to prepare for a surprise test. They all waited anxiously at their desks for the exam to begin.The professor handed out the exams with the text facing down, as usual. Once he handed them all out, he asked the students to turn over the papers.To everyone’s surprise, there were no questions–just a black dot in the center of the paper.

The professor, seeing the expression on everyone’s faces, told them the following: “I want you to write about what you see there.” The students, confused, got started on the inexplicable task.At the end of the class, the professor took all the exams, and started reading each one of them out loud in front of all the students.All of them, with no exception, defined the black dot, trying to explain its position in the center of the sheet.

 

After all had been read, the classroom silent, the professor started to explain:“I’m not going to grade you on this, I just wanted to give you something to think about. No one wrote about the white part of the paper. Everyone focused on the black dot – and the same thing happens in our lives.

However, we insist on focusing only on the black dot – the health issues that bother us, the lack of money, the complicated relationship with a family member, the disappointment with a friend. The dark spots are very small when compared to everything we have in our lives, but they are the ones that pollute our minds. Take your the eyes away from the black dots in your lives. Enjoy each one of your blessings, each moment that life gives you

Learning

See the positives in life rather than focusing on the negatives. We limit our thinking and concentrate only on a certain thing and hence lose out the bigger picture of life. Lets se happy and live a life filled with love!”

Source : Roger Darlington Stories

The Last Ride

Value : Kindness

Subvalue : Thoughtfulness, respect

I arrived at the address and honked the horn. After waiting a few minutes, I honked again. Since this was going to be my last ride of my shift, I thought about just driving away, but instead I put the car in park and walked up to the door and knocked.

taxi

‘Just a minute’, answered a frail, elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged across the floor. After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 90s stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940s movie. By her side was a small nylon suitcase. The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets. There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware.

‘Would you carry my bag out to the car?’ she said. I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman. She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb. She kept thanking me for my kindness. ‘It’s nothing’, I told her. ‘I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother to be treated.’ ‘Oh, you’re such a good boy’, she said.When we got in the cab, she gave me an address and then asked, ‘Could you drive through downtown?’ ‘It’s not the shortest way’,’ I answered quickly. ‘Oh, I don’t mind,’ she said. ‘I’m in no hurry. I’m on my way to a hospice.’

I looked in the rear-view mirror. Her eyes were glistening. ‘I don’t have any family left’, she continued in a soft voice. ‘The doctor says I don’t have very long.’ I quietly reached over and shut off the meter.’What route would you like me to take?’ I asked. For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator. We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds. She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl. Sometimes she’d ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.

As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, ‘I’m tired. Let’s go now’. We drove in silence to the address she had given me. It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico. Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move. They must have been expecting her.

I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair. ‘How much do I owe you?’ She asked, reaching into her purse. ‘Nothing’, I said ‘You have to make a living’, she answered. ‘There are other passengers’, I responded. Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug. She held onto me tightly. ‘You gave an old woman a little moment of joy’, she said. ‘Thank you.’ I squeezed her hand, and then walked into the dim morning light.Behind me, a door shut. It was the sound of the closing of a life.

I didn’t pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly lost in thought. For the rest of that day, I could hardly talk. What if that woman had gotten an angry driver, or one who was impatient to end his shift? What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away? On a quick review, I don’t think that I have done anything more important in my life.

Learning :

We’re conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments. But great moments often catch us unaware – beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.

Author: New York City taxi driver

Source : Roger Darlington Stories

The Tiger’s Whisker

tiger whiskerValue : Love

Subvalue : Perseverance, patience

Once upon a time, a young wife named Yun Ok was at her wit’s end. Her husband had always been a tender and loving soulmate before he had left for the wars but, ever since he returned home, he was cross, angry, and unpredictable. She was almost afraid to live with her own husband. Only in glancing moments did she catch a shadow of the husband she used to know and love.

When one ailment or another bothered people in her village, they would often rush for a cure to a hermit who lived deep in the mountains. Not Yun Ok. She always prided herself that she could heal her own troubles. But this time was different. She was desperate.

As Yun Ok approached the hermit’s hut, she saw the door was open. The old man said without turning around: “I hear you. What’s your problem?”

She explained the situation. His back still to her, he said, “Ah yes, it’s often that way when soldiers return from the war. What do you expect me to do about it?”

“Make me a potion!” cried the young wife. “Or an amulet, a drink, whatever it takes to get my husband back the way he used to be.”

The old man turned around. “Young woman, your request doesn’t exactly fall into the same category as a broken bone or ear infection.”

“I know”, said she.

“It will take three days before I can even look into it. Come back then.”

Three days later, Yun Ok returned to the hermit’s hut. “Yun Ok”, he greeted her with a smile, “I have good news. There is a potion that will restore your husband to the way he used to be, but you should know that it requires an unusual ingredient. You must bring me a whisker from a live tiger.”

“What?” she gasped. “Such a thing is impossible!”

“I cannot make the potion without it!” he shouted, startling her. He turned his back. “There is nothing more to say. As you can see, I’m very busy.”

That night Yun Ok tossed and turned. How could she get a whisker from a live tiger?

The next day before dawn, she crept out of the house with a bowl of rice covered with meat sauce. She went to a cave on the mountainside where a tiger was known to live. She clicked her tongue very softly as she crept up, her heart pounding, and carefully set the bowl on the grass. Then, trying to make as little noise as she could, she backed away.

The next day before dawn, she took another bowl of rice covered with meat sauce to the cave. She approached the same spot, clicking softly with her tongue. She saw that the bowl was empty, replaced the empty one with a fresh one, and again left, clicking softly and trying not to break twigs or rustle leaves, or do anything else to startle and unsettle the wild beast.

So it went, day after day, for several months. She never saw the tiger (thank goodness for that! she thought) though she knew from footprints on the ground that the tiger – and not a smaller mountain creature – had been eating her food. Then one day as she approached, she noticed the tiger’s head poking out of its cave. Glancing downward, she stepped very carefully to the same spot and with as little noise as she could, set down the fresh bowl and, her heart pounding, picked up the one that was empty.

After a few weeks, she noticed the tiger would come out of its cave as it heard her footsteps, though it stayed a distance away (again, thank goodness! she thought, though she knew that someday, in order to get the whisker, she’d have to come closer to it).

Another month went by. Then the tiger would wait by the empty food bowl as it heard her approaching. As she picked up the old bowl and replaced it with a fresh one, she could smell its scent, as it could surely smell hers.

“Actually”, she thought, remembering its almost kittenish look as she set down a fresh bowl, “it is a rather friendly creature, when you get to know it.” The next time she visited, she glanced up at the tiger briefly and noticed what a lovely downturn of reddish fur it had from over one of its eyebrows to the next. Not a week later, the tiger allowed her to gently rub its head, and it purred and stretched like a house cat.

Then she knew the time had come. The next morning, very early, she brought with her a small knife. After she set down the fresh bowl and the tiger allowed her to pet its head, she said in a low voice: “Oh, my tiger, may I please have just one of your whiskers?” While petting the tiger with one hand, she held one whisker at its base and, with the other hand, in one quick stroke, she carved the whisker off. She stood up, speaking softly her thanks, and left, for the last time.

The next morning seemed endless. At last her husband left for the rice fields. She ran to the hermit’s hut, clutching the precious whisker in her fist. Bursting in, she cried to the hermit: “I have it! I have the tiger’s whisker!”

“You don’t say?” he said, turning around. “From a live tiger?”

“Yes!” she said.

“Tell me”, said the hermit, interested. “How did you do it?”

Yun Ok told the hermit how, for the last six months, she had earned the trust of the creature and it had finally permitted her to cut off one of its whiskers. With pride she handed him the whisker. The hermit examined it, satisfied himself that it was indeed a whisker from a live tiger, then flicked it into the fire where it sizzled and burned in an instant.

“Yun Ok”, the hermit said softly, “you no longer need the whisker. Tell me, is a man more vicious than a tiger? If a dangerous wild beast will respond to your gradual and patient care, do you think a man will respond any less willingly?”

Yun Ok stood speechless. Then she turned and stepped down the trail, turning over in her mind images of the tiger and of her husband, back and forth. She knew what she could do.

Learning:

Where there is love, all is possible. Even mighty rocks get eroded slowly by waves hitting against them.

Source: Korean fable

Overcoming difficulties

Value- Optimism

Sub value- Overcoming difficulties

spider

Once upon a time, there was a painting spider, one of those artistic species of spider, that live in the basements of museums and galleries. They live there alongside paintings left and forgotten for years; certainly a suitable place to spin the most impressive of webs. Our spider spun the best webs in the whole museum, and his house was really spectacular. All his efforts went into looking after the web, which he considered to be the most valuable in the world.

However, as time went on, the museum set about reorganising its paintings, and it started making space upstairs to put some of the basement paintings on display. Many of the basement spiders realised what was happening, and were cautious about it, but our spider paid it no mind:
-“Doesn’t matter,”
he would say,
-“it’ll just be a few paintings.”
More and more paintings were removed from the basement, but the spider carried on reinforcing his web,
-“Where am I going to find a better place than this?”
he would say.
That was, until early one morning when, too quick for him to react, they took his own painting, along with the spider and his web. The spider realised that just for not having wanted to lose his web, he was now going to end up in the exhibition room.

In an act of strength and decisiveness, he chose to abandon his magnificent web, the web he had worked his whole life to build up. And it’s a good job he did so, because that way he saved himself from the insect killer they were spraying on the paintings up in the exhibition room.

In his escape, after overcoming many difficulties, the spider ended up in a secluded little garden, where he found such a quiet corner that there he was able to spin an even better web, and became a much happier spider.

Learning

The attitude of consistent hard work and conviction leads to ultimately happiness
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Mesg courtesy Brni Nidhi Chaitanya

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