Posted by: karenevoss | June 19, 2016

Thinking like a child

Yesterday, I volunteered for Special Olympics as I do every Father’s Day weekend. I’m always a scorekeeper for either tee-ball or softball games and this year I had tee-ball. The athletes who participate in Special Olympics have cognitive disabilities and sometimes with physical limitations.

During one of the games, a four year old boy sat in the stands watching the game with his mom and baby sister. I asked if he wanted to be my helper by changing the numbers on the mini scoreboard. He nodded yes. At one point he joined me by the fence to watch the game next to me as I tracked the players. One athlete hit the ball off the tee and started running to first base. The little boy commented that the batter can’t run (the athlete wasn’t running fast). Thinking like a child, I told him that he can run, but he runs slower and that’s OK. I also said some people run fast and some run slower and that’s OK. I also said that the next person may run faster. He seemed to understand. I shared what I told him with his mom in case the conversation happened later and she agreed with my explanation.  Later on, another athlete ran from home to first and my young buddy about him or her running fast and I acknowledged the comment.

The child may only be four, but he learned a life lesson on being different and that it’s alright. How many people, children and adults, can say the same thing? How many of us make fun of someone or a group of people because they’re different even if it’s not in their control? How many of us jump to conclusions about someone because they’re not like you or me? How many people judge others based on what someone said?

Think about it. Maybe we need to think like a young child from time to time. Maybe we can learn to accept the differences between each other. Let’s make the world stronger by doing just that. #OneWorldStrong

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