A few years ago, at the Seattle Special Olympics, nine contestants, all physically or mentally disabled, assembled at the starting line for the 100-yard dash.
At the gun, they all started out, not exactly in a dash, but with a relish to run the race to the finish and win. All, that is, except one little boy who stumbled on the asphalt, tumbled over a couple of times, and began to cry. The other eight heard the boy cry. They slowed down and looked back. Then they all turned around and went back. Every one of them.
One girl with Down’s Syndrome bent down and kissed him and said: “This will make it better.” Then all nine linked arms and walked together to the finish line.
Everyone in the stadium stood, and the cheering went on for several minutes. People who were there are still telling the story. Why?
Because deep down we know this one thing. What matters in this life is more than winning for ourselves. What matters in this life is helping others win, even if it means slowing down and changing our course.
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill
When the funds are low and the debts are high
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh
When care is pressing you down a bit
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.Life is queer with its twists and turns
As every one of us sometimes learns
And many a fellow turns about
When he might have won, had he stuck it out.
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow
You may succeed with another blow.
Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering man;
Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor’s cup;
And he learned too late when the night came down
How close he was to the golden crown.
Success is failure turned inside out
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt
And you never can tell how close you are
It may be near when it seems afar;
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit
It’s when things seem worst that you mustn’t quit.