11/25/2005

a little humanity

At a fundraising dinner for a school that serves learning disabled children, the father of one of the students delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by all who attended. After extolling the school and its dedicated staff, he offered a question. "When not interfered with by outside influences, everything nature does is done with perfection. Yet my son, Shay, cannot learn things as other children do. He cannot understand things as other children do." "Where is the natural order of things in my son?" The audience was stilled by the query. The father continued. "I believe, that when a child like Shay comes into the world, an opportunity to realize true human nature presents itself, and it comes, in the way other people treat that child." Then he told the following story: Shay and his father had walked past a park where some boys Shay knew were playing baseball. Shay asked, "Do you think they'll let me play?" Shay's father knew that most of the boys would not want someone like Shay on their team, but the father also understood that if his son were allowed to play, it would give him a such-needed sense of belonging. Shay's father approached one of the boys on the field and asked if Shay could play. The boy looked around for guidance and, getting none, he took matters into his own hands and said, "We're losing by six runs and the game is in the eighth inning. I guess he can be on our team and we'll try to put him in to bat in the ninth inning." In the bottom of the eighth inning, Shay's team scored a few runs but was still behind by three. In the top of the ninth inning, Shay put on a glove and played in the outfield. Even though no hits came his way, he was obviously ecstatic just to be in the game and on the field, grinning from ear to ear as his father waved to him from the stands. In the bottom of the ninth inning, Shay's team scored again. Now, with two outs and the bases loaded, the potential winning run was on base and Shay was scheduled to be next at bat. At this juncture, would you let Shay bat and give away their chance to win the game? Shay was given the bat. Everyone knew that a hit was all but impossible 'cause Shay didn't even know how to hold the bat properly much less connect with the ball. However, as Shay stepped up to the plate, the pitcher moved in a few steps to lob the ball in softly so Shay could at least be able to make contact. The first pitch came and Shay swung clumsily and missed. The pitcher again took a few steps forward to toss the ball softly towards Shay. As the pitch came in, Shay swung at the ball and hit a slow ground ball right back to the pitcher. The pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could have easily thrown the ball to the first baseman. Shay would have been out and that would have been the end of the game. Instead, the pitcher took the ball and turned and threw the ball on a high arc to right field, far beyond the reach of the first baseman. Everyone started yelling, "Shay, run to first! Run to first!" Never in his life had Shay ever made it to first base. Everyone yelled, "Run to second, run to second!" By the time Shay rounded first base, the right fielder had the ball. He could have thrown the ball to the second-baseman for the tag, but he understood the pitcher's intentions and intentionally threw the ball high and far over the third-baseman's head. Shay ran toward second base as the runners ahead of him deliriously circled the bases toward home. Shay reached second base, the opposing shortstop ran to him, turned him in the direction of third base, and shouted, "Run to third!" As Shay rounded third, the boys from both teams were screaming, "Shay, run home!" Shay ran to home, stepped on the plate, and was cheered as hero who hit the "grand slam" and won the game for his team. "That day," said the father softly with tears now rolling down his face, "the boys from both teams helped bring a piece of true love and humanity into this world."

5 comments:

redbean said...

this is a story sent to me by a friend.

Anonymous said...

A truly touching story. Hope it gives a warm feeling to all who read it, as it has given me.

I am a visitor to your shores and have been here for many monhts. It is unfortunate that I have to say that whilst in Singapore I have come to realise that the Singaporeans are a very hard and uncompromising lot. In general, the people here care ONLY for financial and material possessions. Anything from the heart will be lost to most of the Singaporeans. Sorry I have to say this. Hope that my opinion will change as I stay longer here.

redbean said...

hi anonymous,

welcome to singapore. your observation of singaporeans is quite true in a way. many are caught in trying to acquire as much material wealth as they could. this is not necessarily bad. but this is hard time to many singaporeans and some may appear to have lost their humanity.

but many are just as human if they can be judged by their willingness to empty their pockets for the unfortunate. but then the nkf episode has shaken some of their faith in the goodness of man.

if you stay here longer, hope you will get to know some of them in a more personal way and see the human side of them. but if your circle of friends are those in the circuit of fun seekers, then you will be seeing another aspect of singapoeans.

hope you enjoy your stay here.

Anonymous said...

Hi Redbean

Hope you are right. I would hate to think that the majority of Singaporeans are heartless and uncaring. When I read your (practically ) one and only English newspaper or watch the TV, I get the feeling that all is well and all Singaporeans are happy and contented. However, I am sure there is an undercurrent happening in this Island State that tells a different story. I am a blog addict and reading most of the Singapore blogs I have this feeling that there is an uneasy truce between Govt and people. The Govt is firm to the point of being authoritarian and the people arte adopting a bochap mentality. They grumble but only under their breath, maybe to avoid being labelled a trouble maker.

I better not say too much about this or I might be refused entry or even get deported. I am not too sure if "big brother" is listening.

redbean said...

hi, you bet the big brother is watching. but what the heck. it is better for them to know what the people are thinking or else they will be better as ostriches.

there is tension between the govt and the governed for sure. but normally only a small minority will speak out and demand to be listened to. the masses will grumble and curse, but life goes on.

but in all societies, in all systems, when there is tension, or when the system is being abused, a point will reach when it will snap. and nobody really knows when. otherwise the empires will be forever. the abuses of the rich and mighty will be forever.

as long as people find it bearable and tolerable, there will be some give and take. not many people are into politics to topple govt. there is a heavy price to do such things.