Since writing the book and giving the Your Life Matters message in speeches my view of the value of every life has expanded. I don’t want anybody to feel they are “just-a”…
Special needs children are not my specialty. But some recent encounters have given them a special place in my heart and I have found another area to apply the message “Your Life Matters.” They defy the common measurement of the value of a life and give focus to what really matters–unconditional love and enthusiasm for life. Johnny the bag boy is one of my favorite stories. It was told to me by a friend who spearheads Best Buddies in Colorado.
Johnny had Downs Syndrome and was working at a smaller chain of grocery stores. The company could not match the prices of the larger chains. Needing a competitive advantage the owner challenged the staff, “We need to find a way other than prices to beat the competition. I need your help. See what you can come up with.”
Johnny was very concerned. Acting like it was up to him to save the store he told his dad, “I’ve got to do something to help our store win.”
He and his dad had the good practice of recording meaningful and inspirational quotes in a notebook. “What if we write the quotes out and make copies so you can put one in every bag.” “That is a great idea. Let’s do it.”
So Johnny did. Every customer got a quote placed in their bag by Johnny as they checked-out with their groceries.
The owner was, initially, horrified to see the length of the line at the check out. “More cashiers to the front,” he frantically paged. But it didn’t matter because the customers wanted to go through Johnny’s line. Johnny made a difference. His idea worked life Steve Roloff, with Cerebral Palsey, works in planting churches or Bella Santorum’s life, radically affected by Trisomy 18, inspires a nation. (See the blog for more: www.welcometothebigleagues.org.)
This was not just a little idea by just-a bag boy who was just-a down’s syndrome kid. Every life matters. Every life can make a difference. That is the Big League way to engage life.
It challenges me to treat everybody better and look for potential in people and ways that I might otherwise over look.
The applications of Welcome to the Big Leagues and the Your Life Matters message are unlimited. Help us make it a movement. Let the message impact you and all of your relationships. Reply with a story. make a story with someone you meet, support us as we give the Your Life Matters message, go the the blog and give a comment and forward this e-mail.
What you do will make a difference because…
Your life matters!
Read Psalm 139.