The Special Olympics in Seattle

It happened a few years ago at the Special Olympics in Seattle. Nine contestants, all physically or mentally disabled, assembled at the starting line for the hundred-yard dash. The contestants waited. The crowd watched. The gun sounded. It wasn't exactly a dash, but all nine ran the best they could. Hoping to finish. Hoping to win. Suddenly one of them stumbled on the asphalt, tumbled over, and began to cry.

The other eight heard his cry. They slowed down and looked back. Then every one of them stopped, turned around, and went back to get him.

A girl with Down syndrome bent over and kissed him. "This will make it better," she said sweetly. A few helped him up. Then all nine linked arms and walked across the finish line. Together.

Everyone in the stadium stood. The ovation went on for several minutes. People who were there still tell this story. Why? Because joy is one of the few things that is multiplied when it's divided. Because those who bring sunshine to the lives of others can't keep it from shining on themselves.

Callaway, Phil. Laughing Matters. Oregon: Multnomah Publishers, 2005, p. 87-88.

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