I was touched by this video posted on Facebook. Most parents take videos of their child at a school event, sports and/or music recital without a thought of it going viral, but this video is special. It was taken by a mother of an eleven-year-old boy, Matt, who has cerebral palsy. Matt was told he didn’t have to run the elementary school race, but he was determined to be like all the other kids. I imagined the heartache and worry this mother felt as she watched her son struggle, but she continued to record the race anyway. I heard her call out words of encouragement. I personally felt concerned for Matt’s health and safety and thought, this boy hasgood reason to quit. Then something magical happened as a caring teacher and supportive classmates urged Matt to keep going.
I couldn’t stop thinking about it, hoping I’d be like the caring teacher who turned around the apparent outcome. His encouragement not only spurred Matt on, but his example urged the students to cheer and support Matt. I want to be like the classmates who were probably tired after completing the race, but still went back to run beside him. Matt received the boost he needed to successfully complete the race. I will not soon forget the examples of Matt’s determination, the care of a teacher and the supportive classmates.
In the article Liftable it states, “In our world today there are plenty of stories of bullying and poor student behavior. That’s not the case here. What we have is a teacher who made a difference (as many often do) and classmates that went above and beyond to help a friend finish the race. A race which holds a lesson to be learned for everyone.”
As I viewed the video I noticed a difference in my own attitude. As I watched Matt receive the help and encouragement my thought of, this poor boy transformed to, with this kind of assistance and reassurance he’ll make it! In my heart, I also started cheering him on and felt his joy as he reached the finish line.
I recognized some similarities in my own race of life, where family and friends have given me confidence and raised my spirits when I needed it the most to help me reach the finish line of that particular struggle. This reminded me of a favorite poem.
When good friends walk beside us
On trails that we must keep,
Our burdens seem less heavy
And the hills are not so steep.
The weary miles pass swiftly
Taken in a joyous stride,
And all the world seems brighter
When friends walk by our side.
Have you felt the magic that happens when friends walk by your side? Have you given someone else the magic as you’ve blessed their life with love and support through their struggle? I’d love to hear about your experiences.
Tomorrow, November 12th, is Mark’s birthday and as I searched the internet looking for something which describes and honors him, I came up with these three things he does daily to make his life and mine wonderful.
1) Have a sense of humor.
Mark has a great sense of humor, which makes living with him both enjoyable and entertaining. He makes me laugh in stressful times. No matter where we are he knows how to put strangers at ease with humor. When we left the hospital Friday, two nurses said, “I’m sure going to miss you here. You made me laugh and brought joy to my day.” He was going through a difficult, two day preparation before a colonoscopy, but still made the nurses laugh.
2) Never quit on what you want to achieve.
Mark is a winner because he never quits. He keeps working on and believing in his abilities. His perseverance is an inspiration to all who know him. He works hard at everything he does and when he doesn’t accomplish what he’d hoped to, he works at not letting it get him down. I’m proud of his determination and positive attitude. I consider myself a winner also because I’m married to him.
3) Choose to be happy.
Mark definitely chooses to be happy. He has good reason to be sad and disappointed in life, but he chooses not to be. He forgives and forgets thoughtless comments. He’s never demanding and always appreciative of all that he has. He’s a joy to take care of because he has such a grateful heart, which makes it all worthwhile.
Everyone has those days where they feel like giving up. It might be caused by being overwhelmed with a project, or after having a bad day. It might be after you get a bad report, or grade in school, or at work. Sometimes it comes during an intense work out, or hard diet to follow.
Life is like a roller coaster, with its twists and turns and you can’t predict what will happen next. Life can beat you down, but in order to succeed you need to pick yourself up and try again.
On days like these I have a favorite poem I like to read that’s framed and hanging on my wall. I keep it in my exercise room for inspiration in my workouts, but when I just need uplifting I know where to find it—in this poem.
When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
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 failure 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 slipped 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 so far,
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit–
It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.
Five important points from this poem:
Rest if you must, but don’t quit. Rest can bring clarity, renewed energy and perspective.
Within every failure are lessons that must be learned to achieve success in future attempts at the same or other endeavors.
Failure doesn’t mean that your attempt was a loss, but that you may have made a few mistakes that made you come up short of success.
Success is the opposite of failure which can be turned inside out.
Failure and success are closely related. There is always hope of success because most often you need failure to learn how to achieve success.
This poem encourages actions and deeds that lead to success. So, next time you are up until midnight writing or studying, feeling overwhelmed, or enduring a tough time, imagine yourself facing the “victor’s cup” in the end. Give yourself something worth working towards and think of these words, ” I must stick to the fight when I’m hardest hit, It’s when things seem the worst that I mustn’t quit.”