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Tears of Sadness, Tears of Joy: An Instructive Story That Makes Me Cry

July 28, 2001

Even after several weeks, every time I read this little story I start to cry:

My sister-in-law...teaches physically and mentally handicapped children at a private school in Brooklyn.  She recently attended a Special Olympics and went to the starting line of the 100-yard dash with 6 eager contestants. As the starting whistle sounded, a boy tripped, fell and began to cry. All the other runners stopped, turned and went back to help.  Then they all held hands and went on to the finish line together. Needless to say, everyone in the stands cheered.

[from the  June 11, 2001 New York Times Metropolitan Diary section]

Why am I so moved?

There are tears of joy mixed with tears of sadness.

Tears of joy, for the pure camaraderie, selflessness and love embodied by these children.

Tears of sadness, for how far from such behavior we adults have wandered.

Wouldn't it be nice if, at least once in a while, we could pause in our race for money and power; turn around to see the suffering of those we have left behind; go back and help these less able ones to their feet; and then walk forward together with them, arm in arm.

And on a grander scale, how sweet the thought of entire nations acting similarly toward those countries which have tripped on the path to prosperity and well-being.

Of course, on the individual as well as on the international level, a more accurate analogy would have those left behind having been deliberately tripped by those winning the race, but never mind that now.  Just the thought of such a change in the ways of the world is oh! so nice.

This was a selection from The Daily Diatribe

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