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 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 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:
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.
Shay's father approached one of the boys on the field and asked
if Shay could play. The boy looked around for guidance and, getting
none, 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
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 outfield. 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, 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 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 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
took the ball and turned and threw the ball on a high arc to right
field, far beyond the reach of the first baseman.
Everyone started yelling," Shay, run to first! Run to first!"
Never in his life had Shay ever made it to first base. He scampered
down the baseline, wide-eyed and startled; Everyone yelled, "Run
to second, run to second!" By the time Shay rounded first
base, the right fielder had the ball. He could have thrown the
ball to the second-baseman for the tag, but he understood the
pitcher's intentions and intentionally threw the ball high and
far over the third-baseman's head. Shay ran toward second base
runners ahead of him deliriously circled the bases toward home.
Shay reached second base, the opposing shortstop ran to him, turned
him in the direction of third base, and shouted, "Run to
third!" As Shay rounded third, the boys from both teams 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."
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
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, and leave the world a little bit colder
in the process?
You now have two choices:
1.. Smile and forget you read this.
2.. Send this link
( http://www.slaveofconvention.com/html/inspired/shay.htm )
to the people you care about, even though you may not think they'll
appreciate it - people have a never ending ability to surprise
each other and you just might touch someone you thought untouchable.
Friends are quiet angels who lift us to our feet when
our wings have trouble remembering how to fly.
Thankyou to my very good friend Cammie
for sharing this with me.
Yes, I see the irony of the "Please pass
this on" bearing in mind my Pass
this on rant 'n' rave... everything above the line is a direct
quote - the only variations are in formatting and the addition
of the "or give the link" text, which were added/modified
to fit the medium of a webpage instead of an email