Thursday, June 16, 2005

What Really Matters

I bought a car a couple of weeks ago ( That is not what really matters). I had resisted for a couple of years, since I sold my last one, depending instead of my bicycle, my feet, and the co-operative auto network. One of the reasons I liked not having a car was that it reminded me how much advertising and social values were telling me that I needed one. It is almost like, it is hard to look inside these days and figure out what we really need, and what is important, as opposed to what we are told. The pressure and influence aren't subtle, but what is surprising to me is how deep it can go, without our realizing it.

We do not have to buy into bigger, more expensive, the best, the most, the whateverest--we can buy into something different. We just have to stop and think about it--and think about what we really want and need and believe in.

The Director of Care of a nursing home sent me the following, I am not sure where it comes from. But it touched my heart. That is what matters.

"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, 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."