Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Human Spirit

Today I want to write about a truly inspiring video that restores my faith in humanity. It reminds me that most people, really, are pretty decent at heart. It's a few years old, but in terms of the human spirit, it's timeless.

Jason McElwain is an autistic student at a high school in Rochester, New York. Jason is "highly functional", meaning that unlike many autistic kids he is able to go to school, interact with others, and do a lot of the things we non-autistic people take for granted. For Jason, you can bet that's a real challenge. Jason is a senior in high school. He was a student assistant member of the basketball team, helping out at practices, games, stuff like that. He had never played. Then one night his coach let him suit up. The game was down to the last five minutes. Remember, Jason had never played in an actual game. Coach Jim Johnson sent him in.

Your first clue is the cheers from the crowd when he goes in. But wait a sec...don't we all know that high school kids are intolerant, bullying, self absorbed, etc. etc.? Isn't that what we see on the news or in the papers all the time? Examples of bad behavior with various pundits shaking their heads about the dissolution of values and our society?

So Jason goes in and the crowd cheers and the coach is just praying that maybe Jason will get a basket. Just one. Jason misses his first shot by a mile. For him to even get a shot means his teammates had supported him. A minute after missing that shot, Jason makes a three pointer. The crowd goes wild. By the end of the game, Jason made not one, not two, but SIX three pointers. School record.

Ever shoot hoops? Three pointers ain't easy.

If you want to skip right to it, here's the link: Http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1fw1CcxCUgg

Folks, it's not all bad out there. Sometimes we just need to be reminded.

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