Sunday, May 11, 2014

Tim's Place

I don't know why, but we humans tend to be afraid of those who are different from us.  We are friends with people who look like us, think like us, dress like us; we listen to radio personalities who agree with our views; and, in times past, we even killed and imprisoned people just because they didn't fit the norm.

But now, it seems to me that we are entering a new era of understanding and acceptance, at least in some parts of the world. And, some societies are even celebrating the differences that exist among us and make life more interesting. These days, there are opportunities open to people that could not have even been imagined just a couple of generations ago.

Watching the video about Tim Harris made my eyes fill with tears. The joy and love that flows from this young man just made my day. He brought back so many wonderful memories for me. When I was in high school, and for two years after I graduated, I volunteered with Down Syndrome kids, helping them to learn how to read and swim. Later, when I opened a local dance studio with my partners, I taught dance classes specifically for Down Syndrome and disabled children.

It was so very rewarding for me because these kids are the most loving people you could ever meet. They are so open, not judgmental at all. They thrive on hugs, love and smiles. They have no enemies and their view of life is so open and innocent. With the DS kids, what you see is what you get - no pretensions, no walls - just a love of life and everything in it.

And I wonder, why is it that we "normal" people can't be more like that?

In the video, Tim is excited just about going to work! How many people feel that way? How many of us start our work day with a happy dance?

How often do we let our ideas of what we can't do stand in the way of our dreams?

What can we learn from people who are different from us, and how can we use what we learn to make the world a better place?

Tim's enthusiasm and belief in himself was so strong that it swept up everyone in his path. I wonder how many people's lives he's touched just by being himself and following his heart.

Can we each take a piece of Tim's story with us, out into the world every day? Can we learn to think in terms of how we can achieve instead of why we can't?

It is possible. I'm a believer.

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