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I had another article all set to write but decided to save it for next month after experiencing one of my most joyful volunteer days ever!

Last Saturday was a local Special Olympics game. Floor ball was the competition. It’s basically ice hockey on a wood floor and the athletes wore sneakers. There were a total of 5 different games in their own section of the arena taking place at the same time.

However, the particular sport and its details is actually irrelevant for the purpose of this writing.

What is relevant is the magnificent human connection and love that permeated the entire arena amongst every single person that participated in one way or another to make this day happen.

And I’m talking well over 100 people. Walking in I knew not a single soul. Walking out I felt like I was saying good-bye to dear friends.

Where Credit Is Due

But I must give credit where credit is due for the high vibration of love and connection that encapsulated the day –
the athletes!

These young men and women are the epitome of kindness, joy, fun, love and compassion. And all that was as contagious as a good belly laugh.

I’m telling you it was like the entire arena was covered in a warm blanket of love.

I was fortunate enough to run the small electronic score board for the teams I was helping with. This allowed me an up close and personal experience of everything that took place on the court and on the team benches.

When a player fell down there was always another player from either team to help them up.

When the goalie of Team A was struggling to keep the ball out of his goal and getting soooo frustrated, a player from Team B gave him a pep talk and a hug.

What do you suppose transpired after that?

I’ll tell you!

Heart to Heart

Team A goalie stopped the next attempted shot and then got a high five from Team B player who gave him the pep talk!

When the ref accidentally got hit with the hockey stick (plastic) by a player, that player made sure he was okay only to have the ref say, “Never been better. You keep on playing.” Which brought a huge smile to the player’s face.

At one point I overheard one of the players on the bench say to the assistant coach, “I love this day and I love you!”

Okay, fine. Maybe that’s when my eyes had some water in them.

Those moments mentioned above were truly just the tip of the loveberg!

Honestly, as I sat there in absolute awe of these athletes and observing all the parents and volunteers smiling, cheering them on, laughing with each other I thought, “This is who we are at our core. This is the best of the human species.”

A species where there’s:
No ego
No hate
No I’m better than you
No I’m smarter than you
No I’m stronger than you

A species who:
Lifts each other up
Cheers each other on
Celebrates another’s win
Is concerned if they hurt another

A species without:
Comparisons
Judgments
Jealously
Shame
Fear

Add all that up and it totals one thing and one thing only:

Love with a capital L!

Humanity has some work to do in this area – that’s a given. But as I moved through that Special day, it was clear to me those athletes are the finest of our species and I will do my best to follow their loving lead.

I’m inviting you to come along!

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Linda Salazar

Author Linda Salazar

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