Inspirational examples

Posted on September 27, 2007
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        Leicester and Nottingham Forest were engaged in a League Cup football match. Nottingham Forest took an early one-goal lead. Then a Nottingham Forest player collapsed with a heart attack. As a result, the game was cancelled. He survived, by the way.

          When the teams met to play again, The Leicester team gave the Nottingham Forest goal tender the ball and then stood aside as he took it down the field and kicked it into the Leicester net.

          That restored the advantage Nottingham Forest had held when the original game was cancelled.

          Leicester eventually won 3-2 and advanced.

Boys in pink

          In Nova Scotia, a grade 9 student was harassed and called homosexual by a group of six boys for wearing a pink shirt on his first day in a new school.

          Two grade 12 boys, David Shepherd and Travis Price, decided not to let that pass.

          They bought 75 pink tank tops and pink materials for head bands at a local discount store. They organized a campaign among their school mates on the internet. The Friday after the incident, they handed out the shirts and material at the entrance to the school.

          They estimate that roughly half of the school’s 830 students wore something pink that day.

          The bullies gave them dirty looks and one threw a couple of chairs in the school cafeteria.

          One of the bullies asked Shepherd if he knew that pink shirts were a symbol of homosexuality.

          Shepherd replied that didn’t matter to him and shouldn’t to anyone.

          We hear a lot these days about athletes who cheat, take performance enhancing drugs, abuse their privileged positions, brag, and trash talk their opponents.

          It was refreshing to see an entire team of professional athletes with a semi-final playoff berth at stake, perform such a sportsmanlike and classy act as the Leicester team did.

          People who work with or interact with young people regularly know that the negative stories we hear don’t reflect the norm. News, after all, is what is new or unusual. Young people who live normal, decent lives aren’t unusual and negative information has at least 10 times the impact of positive news.

          Most of the news about young people is good news about sports, drama productions, cleanup campaigns, clubs, scholarships, and various projects and achievement. We tend not to realize that.

          Suppose someone told you, “You are wise, well-spoken, impeccably dressed, thoughtful, kind, generous, tolerant, sensitive, reliable, honest, and fair but you don’t smell very good.”

          Which comment would you remember to your dying day?

          Against conventional assumption, it was refreshing to see Shepherd and Price, from the much maligned teenage boy demographic, act to inspire such an inclusive stand for decency.

          Let’s all try to model ourselves after the Leicester jocks and the Central Kings High teenagers, David Shepherd and Travis Price.

          Let’s try to practice grace under pressure to be sportsmanlike.

          Let’s stand up and speak up against bullying everywhere.

                                      David Cadogan





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