Kids Helping Kids: It Does Happen More Often Than We Ever Know
Just as sunshine is bursting through the clouds, Matt was undaunted as his classmates cheered him on.
No one ever said our walk on this planet would be easy. No one told us that we would not have to face difficult challenges that would test us to our limit.
For many of us, these difficult times force us to dig down deep and find the reserve that is there that will keep us grounded and determined to overcome and continue.
There is no doubt that the young man featured in this article chose to believe that he is stronger than any affliction that can come his way.
What a loud and powerful message that sends to us!! How. can we not be stronger than what befalls us if he can set such an example for us??
My grandson like Matt has faced serious illness since his birth. Like Matt he has learned to dance in the rain...rather than waiting for the rain to stop, he has learned to make the best of whatever has come his way. He truly has taught many of us how to live. Matt's story is another lesson in living life today..not waiting for storms or adversity to pass.
Making a difference
When I first read this article, I knew that it was a story that I needed to tell. Unfortunately we do not read stories like this every day. For sure things like this do happen more often than we know. They just do not get reported.
We do need to read more stories like this. There are many ---we just do not hear about all of them. This story helps to restore my faith in the power of the human spirit and reminds me that it takes courage to overcome obstacles. The players in this article inspired each other.
Inspiration and courage have a way of bringing out the best in each of us. A renewed sense of belief in the inner strength of some individuals, their courage, often inspires those involved to respond in unusual, unexpected ways.
A group of amazing kids who made a difference in each other's lives is the focus of this article.This is not my story. It is a story I read in the Gainesville Sun. It had been an Associated Press article. It is the kind of story that needs telling and retelling. I am only the story teller.
This is the location of the school Matt attended with his friends.
clothing, canned foods, old blankets
library, hospital, school
someone: hold a door, pick up a dropped item, mow a lawn, take out the trash
cheer on someone who is struggling against a great challenge
A dreary day awaits some....for others, it is another opportunity to dance in the rain that may come....
Believe in yourself and all that you are. Know that there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle.— Christian Larson
Matt did not run alone for long...
This is a true story about an eleven year old boy, his coach, his classmates, and a running event on Field Day.
This young boy is just like any other eleven year old. He wants to play and have fun and be a part of all that is happening. He participates without complaining. He has a bit of a handicap but not once did I read that in the news article. He has spastic cerebral palsy which for most would stop them from doing what this young man did. That is not the end of the story. His classmates will amaze you as well.
"Let's go, Matt,...Let's go!"
On May 16 of this year in Worthington, Ohio, Colonial Hills Elementary held its field day. It was field day just like thousands of field days across the nation. The children had been running races of and on for most of the day.
In this particular race, which happened to be the fourth race of the day and one our young boy did not have to run, Matt was struggling. He said that at one point he felt like 'giving up.'
On the video you see him alone on the running field for a few seconds. It appears most have finished running. He appears to be struggling to keep going His coach walks out on the field to him and walks with him as he runs.
Life isn't finding shelter in the storm. It's about learning to dance in the rain.— Sherrilynn Kenyon
His classmates cheered him on every step of the way.
Unexpectedly a most wondrous thing happened---unplanned, unprompted. All at once his classmates began walking on the field. They kept pace with Matt. Cheers and chants for him can be heard. Each child was encouraging him to finish. They remained with him, cheering him on, until he had completed the race!!
It was another example of H.O.W. reaching out to others does make a huge difference. In this case, these young people learned so much about self-less giving. WOW!!
This is more than a story about a race, a child with cerebral palsy, some kids who cheered for him. It is a story about the power of the human spirit. It is a story about the goodness within humankind. It is a story that serves to inspire all who read about Matt and view the video on YouTube.
Perhaps it we should take a lesson from Matt. We should remember to never give up.When the going gets tough, keep on going.
We should take a lesson from his classmates: Encourage others to achieve.
When you have once seen the glow of happiness on the face of a beloved person, you know that a man can have no vocation but to awaken that light on [all] the faces surrounding him.
— ~~Albert Camus
Teaching from the earliest years about kindness and having a generous spirit leads the way....
What is cerebral palsy?
Cerebral palsy is caused by some type of brain injury prior to, during, or after birth and is irreversible. According to St. Louis Childrens Services, it has not been known to spontaneously reverse itself. It presents itself in different ways depending on the severity of the case that the individual has. For some it results in being wheelchair bound for life with little or no use of limbs. For others it means that one or more limbs may have limited us. This is a very brief description of cerebral palsy.
Three years ago, I had twin boys in my class and one had CP which is what he called it. He knew the words but maybe saying only the initials made it sound less frightening to others. He participated in physical ed classes and did not want to be excluded from running games. The children in the class were very protective of that young boy.
Prior to that, years ago, when I was teaching in middle school a young man in one of my reading classes had cerebral palsy. In his case, it was quite debilitating as he was wheelchair bound. However, that did not stop him from excelling. That was not a whole lot he could not do in the world of academia. His sports activities were very limited but he excelled in all things academic. He was kind and thoughtful and the kids loved him. He went on later to become the valedictorian of his senior class. He learned to overcome adversity just as so many before and after him have done.
Selfless giving, caring, and doing for others is about the goodness that lies within our human spirits. It is that part of us that gives a damn when someone else is suffering. It is that part of us that cares when someone is homeless, someone loses their job, someone is sad and alone. It is a way to mend the animosity and fear and apathy that exists. As I have said so many times and as I have read so many times before, each one of us doing some little something for another is taking baby steps toward helping to mend our nation and our world.
Our young people will be leading us into the future in a few short years. What we often read about them are the negatives. Let this story serve as a reminder that unprompted goodness is alive and well in our country. It is usually not newsworthy but it does exist.
© 2012 Patricia Scott