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Old 12th Dec 2007, 18:33   #1 (permalink)
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Society is judged by how it treats it's least fortunate

A story I received today.

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, 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.'

Shay 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.

The game would now be over. 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 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, 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 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 humanity into 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!

A wise man once said every society is judged by how it treats it's least fortunate amongst them
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Old 12th Dec 2007, 18:45   #2 (permalink)
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Old 13th Dec 2007, 05:13   #3 (permalink)
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Nice story. I hope this particular school teaches its kids the difference between "it's" and "its".
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Old 13th Dec 2007, 09:48   #4 (permalink)
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Nice story. Made me think about New Orleans for some reason.

Al Fakhem, don't be a D1ck.
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Old 13th Dec 2007, 11:19   #5 (permalink)
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Anything objectionable about correct grammar, bar fly? Isn't this what schools are supposed to do?
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Old 13th Dec 2007, 11:25   #6 (permalink)
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A nice, warm, cuddly story.
Trotted out on t'interweb for the last 6 years or so?

True? Who knows. Probably not. I am a cynical fcuker though.
Reminds me of a lot of 'Friends' episodes where everyone looks adoringly at each other in silence when something wonderful has been uttered.

Can we turn it into American bashing? Hot dang! That GWB fella, etc, ...
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Old 13th Dec 2007, 11:30   #7 (permalink)
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It isn't grammar it is spelling!
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Old 13th Dec 2007, 12:38   #8 (permalink)

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Trotted out on t'interweb for the last 6 years or so?
Yes, I received it myself about that long ago. Does anyone know if it's true?
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Old 13th Dec 2007, 12:58   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by BlueDiamond View Post
Yes, I received it myself about that long ago. Does anyone know if it's true?


Surprisingly not then.
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Old 13th Dec 2007, 14:46   #10 (permalink)

Just Binos
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Well, I wasn't going to say anything at the risk of being labelled a curmudgeonly old prick, and no doubt the usual Snopes-haters will come out in force, but really..... did anybody really believe it as they read it?

Like a tear-jerking movie, it stirred my emotions, which it was clearly meant to do. But unlike the best tear-jerkers, not at any stage did it remotely masquerade as truth. To anybody with an idea of the mindset of teenagers, the idea of two whole teams of adolescent kids subverting their own desires for a grand final win to help a disabled kid attain his life's dream is so preposterous as to make Harry Potter look realistic.

Nice try, but no cigar. Snopes once again is spot on in not only exposing it as a fraud but pointing to the underlying issues.
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Old 13th Dec 2007, 14:49   #11 (permalink)
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You curmudgeonly old prick.
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Old 13th Dec 2007, 14:50   #12 (permalink)

Just Binos
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Why thank you, kind sir!
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Old 13th Dec 2007, 15:53   #13 (permalink)
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How unfortunate it doesn't reflect real life.

There was a young lad lived down our way, had massive physical problems, epilepsy, deformed head, bent body and walked with a limp. He was actually quite a nice guy when ya' got talking to him.

He got a job on our local market, but only lasted a few weeks as he was a bit sick of the wider public taking the p*ss, culminating in a load of the local lads telling him that, "scum like him shouldn't be on the fecking earth,"

It really upset him, (he got over it though).

Don't know what the answer is, I used to be one of them local lads me'self.
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Old 13th Dec 2007, 23:54   #14 (permalink)
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Society is judged...
Now that we have globalisation, will society "be judged" on a worldwide-basis too...?

EGCC4284's example is perhaps examplary because it simply requires people to contribute stuff most people have in abundunce and can express in human terms of empathy etc. without much to do with any real-world costs that can be measured monetarily...

If we are truly a global society today, then I don't see many people ascending to heaven in the near future. I guess that someone who lives in an affluent part of somewhere in the UK, say, Chichester, West Sussex, might be able to construe events in order to assume that they'll get there anyway.

But what with all the (especially African) orphans living with the results of just the AIDS epidemic, I wouldn't feel too confident about ascending to those pearly gates (especially if I was reasonably affluent) or lived in God's own country...

What is (or should be free) is one thing. The decision on whether or not to spend 500 more on an even bigger LCD or plasma TV is an entirely personal decision between your God and your interior designer. Hmmmm...
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Old 14th Dec 2007, 00:56   #15 (permalink)

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You curmudgeonly old prick.
Excuse me, he is not a "curmudgeonly old prick"!

He is a curmudgeonly 'middle aged prick', I should know, because I am a curmudgeonly old prick.

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Old 16th Dec 2007, 10:46   #16 (permalink)
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You are busted!

It is the Grammar Police!

Nice story if a bit soppy plus not being, as it were, literally true.

"It's" for "its" is a grammar mistake, not spelling. Both words are spelled correctly; it is just that the contraction of "it is" is mistakenly used for the possessive. That apostrophe has some weird appeal to people posting.

To say that someone is a curmudgeonly old pr1ck is being redundant, I think. We pricks are ipso facto curmudgeonly, young, middle-aged and old.
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Old 16th Dec 2007, 11:36   #17 (permalink)

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There was a kid at school who had a dodgy arm, it stayed contracted/bent up. She copped a fair bit of teasing but she didn't do any harm to any one and eventually she was accepted into the normal playground activities. She used to get some protection from the larger kids as they happily beat up any new kid that dared give her a hard time.

My dear old Nan used to live at Clovelly. One of her neighbours was a kid 'bout my age. He was a "spastic" and couldn't walk or talk very clearly. However, he was a nice enough kid and we used to play together. While his speech was occassionally hard to understand, his brain was mega sharp.

I knew him as Chris, the rest of Australia knows him as "Steady Eddy"
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Old 16th Dec 2007, 12:40   #18 (permalink)
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Nice story! That really cheered my day up.

Al Fakhem, you are indeed a dick! This is the second time on JB today that someone writes something worth reading and tossers out there with nothing better to do, pick up on peoples spelling and or grammar. Will all you oxygen thieves that insist on doing this please sod off to a forum for those obsessed with spelling and grammar in the english language and let the rest of us get on with communicating quite adequately with each other!
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Old 16th Dec 2007, 12:51   #19 (permalink)
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I think it's a fable, meant to illustrate the point that selflessness and goodwill are there for the taking.
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Old 16th Dec 2007, 13:31   #20 (permalink)

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Well of course it's a fable. But it was presented as a true story, and so it gets passed around the internet as such and lots of people choose to believe it. Many of us curmudgeonly pricks of whatever vintage sigh and wish that it were so, yet having been worn down by the horrible facts of life over the years we shudder at the schmaltz.

Hence my original point about tear-jerkers; only the very best of them can make you believe for a while they could be true.

I agree with the point about the grammar police, and I'm a bit concerned that I may have been the one tarred with that. There are many other valid reasons I deserve to be called a curmudgeonly prick, but at least in this case it's not one of them.

Con-Pilot, of course you are a curmudgeonly old prick, but I fear that much as I hate to accept it, and I am not accepting it with any grace at all, a six year age difference does not constitute the difference between galloping senility and being in the prime of life. I therefore propose that we are both re-classified to curmudgeonly middle-aged pricks. I have seconded the motion and have taken a vote in your absence, which was passed unanimously. Welcome back to middle-age!
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