Last night I watched the Espy's and was inspired by so many individuals who accepted awards. At the top of the list was Tim Shriver, who was accepting an award on behalf of his late mother, Eunice Shriver who founded the Special Olympics and fearlessly, tirelessly and gracefully championed equal rights for the "intellectually disabled". He spoke of the current intellectual disabilities movement and how we need to listen & learn from the athletes of the Special Olympics. His words deeply resonated with me as I believe they are true for the Spread Love movement.
"This movement is no longer a movement for people with intellectual differences, it is also a movement from them. It's a movement from them inviting us all to see the world as they so often do Remove the blinders. Remove the fear. Remove the stereotypes. See the person. See the person you’re afraid of. Open your arms. See the person you are angry at. See each other. Welcome the person who is crossing the line for you. Welcome one another. If you’re about ending discrimination and you’re about ending fear, you’re about being a fan of the athletes of the Special Olympics. (He turned to the athletes on the stage behind him and, by name, told each of them they have the power. The athletes have the power. Don't look at them as a cause. That's not a cause standing behind me. Those are powerful human beings with a message. They can unify our schools and communities. They have the power to show us how to overcome the fear that is raking havoc in the country today. So I say to you this is their time. This is OUR time. Follow the athletes of Special Olympics. Follow their leadership. Choose to include. When in doubt choose to include. Play unified. Learn from these extraordinary human beings and help us create a future of justice and joy."
We can learn so much from all the unique individuals in our world if we allow ourselves to turn off the fear we have been programmed to believe and truly see and connect with the people next to us.
WE ARE STRONGER TOGETHER!