July 7, 2000
Subject: Miscellaneous Subjects #11: A day on the Path! + RULES FOR LIFE: The 12 New Rules + Important World Rainforest Movement's Sign-on declaration against the promotion of large scale tree plantations as a means of "offseting" carbon dioxide emissions + And they call some of these people "retarded?"...
I'm back from a short vacation and raring to continue this information service and try as best as I can to remain on top of all the material I receive from so many sources -- an almost impossible challenge most of the time, believe me! On the other hand, I hope most of you are also able to keep up with all the material I send and regularly find in it something useful or inspirational. And talking about this, to catch up with accumulated information I've prepared for you, I'm sending you 2 emails tonight.
And this is only the tip of the "iceberg"!
Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator
Date: Thu, 29 Jun 2000
From: Angharad Llewellyn <email@example.com>
Subject: A day on the Path!
Dear Loved Ones!
Today was a day quite typical in my life. I got another call from a young woman
who's job it is to collect on debts that are owed to large corporations with
more than their share of my money in the fist place! (Please do not interpret
this as a Begging Bowl comment my friends, there is a greater point to this and
there is no begging intent to this statement). :o)
She was a nice lady, and she was actually happy to speak to someone who didn't
vent their frustration and anger on her. She admitted that every day she spoke
to so many people who seemed to be in such dire straights, and yet she just
couldn't understand how this could really be so. She asked me how I managed to
have a roof on over my head and a telephone and yet why I didn't have money for
the debt that she was struggling to collect from me. I explained that the only
way I have kept the telephone and the electric and the water "on" was to use the
possible $200 to $300 I get on average each month to pay these vital bills!
Other expenses just had to wait no matter how unfair that may seem to her. We
spoke a little bit more and she told me that if I could JUST get a $50 payment
into her by tomorrow, they might be able to hold my account another day, i.e.,
June 30th end of the month is upon us again!
Well here are some of the things that I didn't say, and in a way I wish I could
explain these things to her without sounding like I was blaming how I felt about
the companies that have been pressuring me for virtually YEARS for amount that
that they have simply multiplied for themselves as they continually pay these
"Collection" companies to prey on those of us who do not have the cash flow to
pay, due to any number of reasons which are related to the way in which
Corporate America treats its work force! After all is said and done, she
herself is part of that work force that is "Underpaid" and "Overused"!
"I gave at the OFFICE!" is probably the best thing I can say. Personally, I put
25 to 30 years of toil and effort on the behalf of so many who cared little
about my life or the lives of any of their employee! Most corporations would
and do trash an employee out with out even "two weeks" notice or severance pay
if they can do so when "down sizing"! NO SENSE of responsibility is shown to
all the hours and hours of effort and actual pride of achievement that we
employees had given in good faith for wages that were barely enough to keep a
roof over our heads --- let alone raise our families! And, what about our health
and well being??? The stress and the demands of so many office jobs and even
management positions are brutal, and they just suck the life energy out of those
who hold on and tow the Corporate line! Yet many of these "employment" related
maladies go totally unrecognized! Yes, if you come down with Cancer and if you
are one of the "insured" employees, there is some sort of insurance. But what
kind of insurance?? Insurance to go through a "medical" process that will only
numb your mind/body while bleeding even more money through very specific
"insured avenues" while doing nothing about actually healing you and replacing
even a fragment of the "energy" and "life force" that has been literally sucked
out of you!!!
How could I explain to this young woman that I have had it!!! I do not have the
energy any more to get "rolled over" and have my vital life forces "raped" for
one more time around! ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!! I signed no contract with any
company to be treated like this! My mind, body and Spirit have said quite
clearly!, "Engage yourself in this crap one more time, and we will leave You!!
Your life will not even be worth the cost of the "body bag"!"
There was a point in my life when I just had to say NO more! I have worked in
so many ways with this Body, Mind, Spirit!! I have learn to love it, and to a
degree greater than I had ever imagined possible, I have learned to accept ME!
I am a worthy person!!! I accept not only my own worth, but I value the
preciousness of all human kind and LIVE in all its blessed forms!! I do
understand the pressures that we all experience. Both the trauma and some of
the joys! However, to experience more JOY and Abundance I consider to be
both my Goal and my birthright!
Wow!, you may say! "She really thinks that life is FAIR and that we have
BIRTHRIGHTS!!???" Yes, that I DO!! It is pure poppy cock to hold any other
negative thought form! It is time that our planet released such crap! These
thought forms not only express the very nature of the social manipulation that
we have endured, they cause us to literally SHIT on our own faces and on the
inner hopes and dreams that create Joy and Purpose within our lives!
Is it unreasonable to expect release from this prison!? I don't think so!
However, the trick is for me to release myself---to heal and correct my own
"self-talk" to create the loving thoughts for my own prosperity, and to wish for
the inner Peace, Joy and Happiness for all those I encounter.
Of course, I cannot really CHANGE any other individual that I meet or interact
with . . . Or can I??? As I learned in East Indian thought during the 1970's,
the very glance of a Holy person can offer hope to any Being (human or animal)
that crosses that Divine Being's path! So who are these Divine Beings who have
so much influence? Are they some very special race that is so very different
from the "rest of us". I think the answer is both YES and NO. Basically, we
are all "equal" in the eyes of our Creator; however, I have observed that a vast
majority of people go though their entire lives just accepting the crappy
limiting and negative thinking that is "educated" into them via the downtrodden
beliefs of their families, the "school systems" and most currently our TV and
Media programing! Believe me any ONE of these "social control" tools comprises
a formidable enemy to anyone's sense of Self-Worth and longing for true Freedom
and individual Purpose! In fact to escape the clutches of these negative and
limiting thought "machines" really requires a degree of Divine Intervention!!
And what is "Divine Intervention"?? To me it is a daily choice to rethink all
thoughts that come to me which I feel "dim my lights". It is essential to my
well-being to reflect them on my inner screens to discern their source and
purpose! Each day I awake and honor the first thought/feeling that comes to
me. What is it reflecting to me about myself? Is it establishing a pattern
that will bring me Peace/Joy/Freedom? Is it an appropriate thought for me to
share? Will it bring Peace/Joy/Freedom and Hope to those with whom I share
it? Needless to say I have not achieved perfection in this art; however, it is
an an ongoing process which is a little bit refinable each day. Some days I
fall down and go BOOM! Yet as I examine my BOOMs, I tend to find them rich with
information that had just not quite caught my eye as of yet! I even have
friends who let me know quite quickly when I go BOOM! :o) And in spite of any
fussing and screaming, I am deeply grateful for these feedback "acts of love"!
So does this make me a Holy Woman!??? Perhaps another both "Yes and No" is
appropriate here. I don't really feel that I am so very special, but I am
becoming more aware of just how my choices of prioritizing this sort of "thought
introspection" has healed me, and helped me to be a much more compassionate,
understanding and tolerant human being! As an objective observer of this
"Western" culture, any truly compassionate acceptance of one's fellow beings is
in fact a miraculous HOLY act! Perhaps I shall rub some of this "compassion"
dust on to those I meet and with whom I engage in activities? God/Godess/All
that IS, I surely hope so! And if so, may they absorb and refract the very best
Love/Light, Joy and Abundance!
AND MY REPLY WAS:
Thank you so much for writing up and sharing those wonderful and thought-provoking reflections.
The psychical trauma you experienced like so many people at the hands of a dehumanized and dehumanizing System exploiting everyone and the Earth's limited resources for the ultimate benefit of a handful of Cresus - and of course providing some useful services and products along the way to the priviledge minority on Earth that can afford to pay for them - is a revealing testament to the inherent flaws of this System.
Is there a better way to deliver goods and services -- to everyone! -- while providing a meaningful and fulfilling outlet to our abilities and aspiration to be of service to others?
But its emergence will only come about when more and more people like you are so fed up with the System and so aware of and outraged at the blatant inequalities it breeds and the destruction it causes to the global environment that they will empower themselves to cease supporting and abiding by this System and blaze new paths leading towards a world of Justice, Sharing and Compassion, a world not controlled by any central authority, a world in which the creativity and resourcefulness of each individual will no longer be damped by the need to "work for a living" and thus fit into a tight mold, and repressed by culturally imposed limitations, a world where we will all be free to be all that we CAN be.
I know this sounds unreal and too idealistic to many, but I also know that this is the future we are co-creating together right now as we extirpate ourselves one by one from the clutches of the fear-based and scarcity-dominated consciousness still pervading so much of Western societies and yet gradually waning as the inner sun rises onto the horizon of this imminent future we are midwifering through the travails of our soul rising like a Phoenix to the surface of our conscious awareness to guide each one of us onto the Golden Path of Freedom and Love.
That's what I wanted to share in response to your letter.
Be yourself and be happy
Date: Thu, 29 Jun 2000
From: Jay Regal <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Fwd: Rainbow Bridge: RULES FOR LIFE: The 12 New Rules
RULES FOR LIFE The 12 New Rules
By Frederic M. Hudson, Ph.D., President and Pam McLean, Ph.D., Vice-President
The Hudson Institute of Santa Barbara.
Revised, June 2000
1. No one owes you anything-not the government, your employer, your family, or your spouse. Although the world around you is less and less definite and predictable, it is no less valuable and mysterious. To rejoice in living you must invent your own future, entrepreneur your life, and expect surprises.
2. Global change is the major force in your life, and in the lives of everyone on earth. We are all in training for a new era for all humanity. Don't whine about it. Take advantage of the expanding possibilities now available to you in our world of constant flow.
3. You have no ultimate safety, security or guarantees, so don't expect any. What you have are endless opportunities to rearrange your priorities for work, play, and life. Choose wisely, and expect more choices to follow.
4. Your life is an adventure, a journey through time. There are no lasting arrival points and few lasting endings. Everything is flow-you just keep moving, day by day, and week by week, following your internal compass for adventuring through the long haul of ninety years or more. You live on a boat in a river, flowing in white water from the alleged reference points of yesterday to the utter unknown of tomorrow. Learn how to say "hello" and "good-bye" with grace and style.
5. Know how to recycle yourself. Live each chapter of your life fully, then invest in a transition and begin the next chapter. Weave, unravel, and reweave your life, over and over. No matter what your age or situation, design your future as your manifest destiny.
6. The best way to guide your life through infinite change is to follow your own values and vision. Like a rudder, your values will keep you on a course your integrity prefers. Like a sail, your vision will pull you ahead into legitimate expectations.
7. Your best future happens when you have the courage to be: reach, learn, risk, dare, leap. Embrace the unknown ahead. Live on the outer edge of your possibilities, not on the inner edge of your security. Be active, not passive. Lean into the wind.
8. Here is how to conduct your journey: Have a long term purpose with short-term goals. Be definite and flexible. Trust the ocean but stay in charge of your boat. Ride the waves.
9. Refuse to be defined and consumed by your career work. It's an important part of the whole journey, but it's not the journey itself. Your deepest agenda is your soul's work, your holistic callings to create success and caring in all the parts of your life.
10. Everyone on earth is linked to the same destiny. We share the same air, water, food, and capacities for total destruction. We are in each other's hands, one for all and all for one. Interdependence is our expectation.
11. Learn how to grow older and better. Achieve mastery as a human being-model wholeness, wisdom, and caring. Rewrite the myths of aging with your evolving presence and leadership. Be grateful. Leave a legacy that makes a difference.
12. As you find better rules-and you will-replace these rules with them.
The Hudson Institute of Santa Barbara, 350 S. Hope Avenue, A210, Santa
Barbara, CA 93105, (805) 682-3883, Hudson@silcom.com
"Coaching for Sustained Renewal, Resilience, and Performance"
Thanks to Ed Elkins, Roberta Quist, Russ MICHAEL, Susan Douglas, and
Stephan, who all forwarded us these rules.
*:-.,_, Rainbow Bridge World Spirituality List .,_,.-:*
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Linking hearts, souls, and minds.
Transmitting the message of the one heart.
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"This is the most profound spiritual truth I know: that even when we're most sure that love can't conquer all, it seems to anyway."
-- Anne Lamott
Date: Thu, 29 Jun 2000
From: Ginny Rodgers <Ginny@BrightsideBroadcasting.com>
Subject: BrightsideBroadcasting.com - Now is the time to send your stories, articles, links
Our new site, BrightsideBroadcasting.com is undergoing it's next phase of
development which means we are finally ready to accept your stories,
articles, promos, news, links and existing video programs for broadcasting
on the Internet (FYI the videos will undergo screening by the selection
committee for content consistent with our "what-is-right-with-the-world
vision" and the production quality).
To review our mission and goals you can go to our original site
With Warm and Brightest Regards,
From: "Teresa Perez" <email@example.com>
Organization: World Rainforest Movement
Subject: [wrmfriends] Sign-on declaration
Date: Wed, 28 Jun 2000
As we have informed in our past bulletin, the WRM issued a
Declaration detailing the reasons for opposing the promotion of
large scale tree plantations as a means of "offseting" carbon
In order to strengthen opposition to this kind of plantations, we
are sending (below) the full declaration with the aim of
receiving supporting sign-ons.
If you wish to support the declaration, please reply to this
message as soon as possible with your name, organization and
country to be included as a signatory.
The Tamalpais Declaration is also available at:
We will be including new signatures every day as they arrive.
If you want to help, you can also print and distribute
this material to relevant people/organizations in your
countries, to journalists interested in the issue or to
distribute during Climate Change or CDM-related events.
You can also use this version to collect signatures and send them to
us by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or fax (598 2 4080762).
Mount Tamalpais Declaration
We, the undersigned non-governmental organizations, wish to express
extreme concern about the role envisaged for tree plantations in
helping industrialized countries meet their commitments to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions under the Kyoto Protocol of the Framework
Convention on Climate Change. The Sixth Conference of the Parties, in
November 2000 in the Hague, will likely determine the content of the
so-called Clean Development Mechanism, which could allow many Northern
countries to meet their emissions reductions targets by implementing
projects in the South.
Trading carbon sequestered in tree plantations for carbon resulting
from burning of fossil fuels cannot justify postponing deep reductions
in CO2 emissions in industrialized countries. First, the trade would
perpetuate and exacerbate existing inequalities between rich and poor
nations and between rich and poor within particular nations. Second,
the trade would increase the area of industrial tree plantations,
which are already posing severe social and ecological problems
worldwide. Third, the claim of quantifiable "climate neutrality" on
which this trade rests has a highly questionable scientific basis and
sanctions external political interference in the policymaking of the
countries of the South.
For a century and a half industrial societies have been moving carbon
from underground reserves of coal and oil into the air. Today about
175 billion more tons of carbon are circulating in the atmosphere in
the form of CO2 than before the industrial revolution, the great bulk
having come from the North. At least six billion tons are being added
every year. Just over 122 corporations account for 80 per cent of all
carbon dioxide emissions.
The transfer of carbon from fossil fuels to the atmosphere cannot go
on indefinitely. Some 4,000 billion tonnes of carbon in fossil fuels
are still under the earth's surface -- more than ten times the amount
of carbon stored in forests. According to current scientific
consensus, adding as little as few hundred billion tons of this to the
air would result in climate change unprecedented in human history,
bringing extreme storms, droughts and floods, disrupting agriculture,
increasing pest infestations, drowning islands and coastlines and
creating millions of "climate refugees".
Climate change will affect the poor most severely. When Hurricane
Mitch ravaged Central America it generated hundreds of thousands of
environmental refugees. Many small island states may eventually
disappear under the sea. In the US it is the poor who are most
affected by pollution from oil companies, power utilities and
automobiles. Climate change will also severely affect the forests and
agriculture that are the sole means for livelihood for millions of
The 1997 Kyoto Protocol of the Framework Convention on Climate Change,
under which industrialized countries pledge to reduce emissions by
2010 by an average of 5.2 per cent below 1990 levels, does not go
remotely far enough to stave off these dangers. Even if the Protocol
were ratified and fully implemented, it is estimated, it would not be
able to moderate an expected warming trend of 1.4o C. by 2050 by more
than around 0.05o C.
Yet instead of strengthening the Protocol in ways that would reduce
the use of fossil fuels, some governments are advocating the creation
of plantations-based carbon sinks and stores in order to justify
lesser reductions in fossil fuel use. Under the Clean Development
Mechanism, such projects could be created in the South to "compensate"
for industrial emissions in the North.
We are in no doubt about the role of forest conservation in
maintaining a livable climate. We are strongly in favor of maintaining
and restoring diverse forest ecosystems under local control. We also
support the equitable distribution of wealth and common property North
and South. But measures to maintain carbon reservoirs both below and
above ground must be carefully distinguished from the carbon-trading
plantation schemes now being mooted under the Kyoto Protocol. These
are based on false premises and are likely to be counterproductive. We
oppose the inclusion of plantations as "sinks" in the Clean
Development Mechanism for four main reasons:
- Using "sinks" to help Northern countries meet their Kyoto Protocol
emissions reductions targets cannot promote a livable climate since
those targets are themselves insufficient to do so.
- Trading emissions for tree carbon would intensify regressive
redistribution of world resources.
Licensing the burning of fossil fuels by financing tree plantations to
"absorb" carbon dioxide would expand the ecological and social
footprint of the rich, making existing social inequalities worse.
Citizens of a Northern country which use (say) 20 times more per
capita of the atmosphere for CO2 dumping than citizens of a Southern
country would be entitled, under the rationale of carbon trading, to
use 20 times more tree plantation land in order to compensate. This
land would be taken disproportionately from poorer people in the
South, where real estate is cheaper and tree growth rates faster. In
addition, a carbon-trading system would put Southern countries at a
disadvantage when they begin making emissions cuts, since the easiest
cuts would have already been purchased and credited to Northern
countries. It has often been pointed out that the North owes the South
an immense "carbon debt" for its historical overuse of global
carbon-cycling mechanisms. Far from abiding by the "polluter pays"
principle, using trees to "compensate" for emissions would only
increase this resource debt.
Such schemes would also sanction and deepen inequalities within both
Southern and Northern countries. For example, corporations that buy
carbon-dioxide emission rights in the North by sponsoring carbon
"offset" plantations in the South would be allowed to go on releasing,
along with CO2, many other pollutants that pose local health risks.
Corporations site a disproportionate number of such factories in poor
communities of color.
- Large-scale industrial tree plantations are a threat to communities
and ecosystems the world over.
Millions of hectares of new plantation land would have to be taken
over in any attempt to counteract even a small fraction of industrial
emissions. Experience with large-scale tree plantations indicates that
such "offset" projects would usurp needed agricultural lands, replace
valuable native ecosystems, worsen inequity in land ownership,
increase poverty, lead to evictions of local peoples, and undermine
local stewardship practices needed for forest conservation. In Chile,
Indonesia, the Nordic countries and elsewhere, tree plantations have
destroyed natural forests, while in South Africa, Argentina and
Uruguay they have replaced other valuable ecosystems such as
grasslands. In countries such as Brazil, Thailand and Chile tree
plantations are at the root of serious land conflicts among local
communities, landowners, corporations and the state. Nearly everywhere
they have led to loss of water resources and biodiversity. Inherent in
industrial plantation forestry models and exhaustively documented by
the World Rainforest Movement and others over many years, these
deleterious effects of plantations would only be accentuated if
genetically modified trees were employed.
-Using tree plantation projects to "compensate" for the climatic
effects of carbon-dioxide emissions is scientifically incoherent and
sanctions external political interference in the social policies of
A market in "carbon offsets" presupposes a notion of "climate
neutrality" or "climate equivalence". In order for a plantation
"offset" project to be tradable for a given amount of industrial
emissions, a single determinate number would need to be calculated to
represent the amount of carbon sequestered or stored as a result of
the project over and above what would have been sequestered or stored
in its absence.
Deriving such a number involves quantifying two types of project
effect. Both would influence the net amount of carbon sequestered or
One type of effect is physical. Unlike underground oil or coal, carbon
stored in live or dead trees can quickly reenter the atmosphere at any
time. Fires, whether human-set or not, are unavoidable features of
both forests and plantations, and rates of decay difficult to
anticipate. As CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere rise, moreover,
heightened rates of respiration could turn forests and plantations
alike into net sources of CO2 emissions, while diebacks and fires due
to localized climate change are bound to increase. In addition,
plantations typically reduce the capacity of soils to store carbon,
both inside and (through increased erosion) outside project areas.
Vulnerable, dynamic and unpredictable, plantations, unlike underground
reserves of oil and coal, are insecure storage places for carbon.
These considerations alone indicate that no equivalence between
industrial emissions and trees can be established of the type which
would be necessary for the establishment of a "carbon offset"
The second type of effect is social, and would exert an equally
important influence on the amount of carbon sequestered or stored.
Carbon "offset" projects could, among other things:
*Displace communities in the immediate neighborhood, which could lead
to the project's destruction or cancellation or forest clearance and
CO2 releases elsewhere. *Undermine existing technologies or social
networks preventing climatically-destabilizing forms of industrial
land clearance and loss of local knowledge of sustainable agricultural
or forest-conservation practices. *Reduce investor interest in energy
conservation or renewables. *Displace timber operations to other
locations and influence wood and land prices and thus incentives for
logging. *Change consumer demand, landfill legislation and other
social factors influencing how quickly plantation products, including
paper and furniture, were converted to carbon dioxide. *Siphon funding
away from existing forms of carbon protection. *Provide incentives to
degrade forests or other lands outside project boundaries in order to
attract new money for carbon projects.
Such social effects are impossible to quantify. It is not even
possible, in fact, to determine a single social outcome for any given
project, which would be a prerequisite for both quantification and a
"carbon trade". First, predicting the extent of the social effects of
a plantation project would be impossible. These effects, moreover, are
not a matter for prediction, but for democratic decision. Many
different "atmospheric outcomes" of a single project are possible,
depending on what policies are adopted. For example, people evicted by
a plantation "offset" project are likely to behave in different ways
toward forests in their region depending on their land rights, which
in turn depends on national policy. To assign a single number to their
behavior would be to prejudge which policy will be in effect. It could
even be said implicitly to support that policy. Second, continuous
monitoring of the extent of all social effects of a plantation project
would be impracticable and vastly uneconomical (involving, among other
things, close attention to the actions of thousands of rural people in
the vicinity of the project as well as to the psychology of investors
in renewables in distant cities). Third, controlling the behavior of
all people affected by an "offset" project in such a way that the
effect of their actions on atmospheric carbon became precisely
calculable over the many decades during which a project's carbon would
have to be sequestered would also be impossible. The attempt to do so,
moreover, would be politically unacceptable.
By the same token, it is impossible to compare quantitatively the
atmospheric effects of a plantation with "what would have happened
without it". What would have happened without any particular project
depends on many variables, some of them influenced by policy choices
and political action which economists, biologists, foresters or
climate scientists are not entitled to prejudge. Yet without such
prejudgments, a carbon "commodity" is impossible.
In sum, the climatic effects of a plantation "offset" project cannot
be calculated simply by (say) comparing the amount of carbon stored in
local vegetation and soils before and after the project and by
monitoring changes in vegetation outside the project site. Deeper
issues are involved that cannot be resolved through "learning by
We, the undersigned NGOs, strongly support national and international
efforts to address climate change, especially through energy
conservation, consumption reduction, more equitable resource use, and
equitable development and sharing of renewable sources of energy. We
hold that a widespread trade in tree plantation "offsets", through the
Clean Development Mechanism and other means, would block or undercut
these necessary and urgent measures, which constitute a rare
opportunity to move on from dominant and failed patterns of
development. We urge governments not to include plantations as carbon
sinks in the Clean Development Mechanism and to address industrial
emissions separately from tree plantations. A livable climate can be
assured only by a commitment to tackling the root causes of global
Ricardo Carrere, WRM, Uruguay
Marcus Colchester, Forest Peoples Programme, UK
William Appiah, TWN, Ghana
Witoon Permpongacharoen, TERRA, Thailand
Yoichi Kuroda, JATAN, Japan
Randy Hayes, Rainforest Action Network,USA
Larry Lohmann, Corner House, UK
Patrick Anderson, Rainforest Information Centre, Australia
Saskia Ozinga/Jutta Kill, Fern, UK
Sofia Ryder/Chantal Marijnissen,Fern, Brussels
Eric Bosire, Forest Action Network, Kenya
Keith Cooper, WESSA /Timberwatch, South Africa
Conselho Indigenista Missionário, Brazil
Takahiro Kohama, Japan Tropical Forest Action Network, Japan
Kingkorn Narintarakul, Northern Development Foundation, Thailand
Bill Barclay, Greenpeace, USA
Lafcadio Cortesi, Greenpeace Pacific,USA
Ned Daly, Forest Policy Director, USA
Joshua Karliner/Amit Srivastava, TRAC--Transnational Resource &
Action Center, USA.
And they call some of these people "retarded?"...
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.