Friday, January 25, 2013

My Faith In Humanity is Restored, For a Little While At Least

We live in a very negative world. Watch the news on any given night and all you hear about is murder, rape, robbery, poor economic numbers, who hates who, who fights with who, and who wants to start wars. The lead stories on the nightly news, or headlines in the newspaper usually exploit someone's misery. And if something positive is reported, you get a little blurb, barely noticeable.

My faith in humanity has been restored, even just a little bit. The last two weeks I have dished out Thumbs Up to two celebrities who I am a huge fan of. Today, I dish out a Thumbs Up to three high school students who truly deserve it. The story is touching.

This is the time of the school year where teenagers start wondering about prom. They begin to look at dresses, tuxes, asking each other to be prom dates. They start planning their one night of complete freedom, spending the weekend somewhere with friends, and engaging the hi-jinx teenagers engage in on prom night. The popular students start to vie for the title of Prom King and Queen while the not so popular students are left out in the cold, some wondering if they will even get a date for the prom, some not planning on going because they don't want to spend the night with people who bully the hell out of them.

Homecoming normally does not happen until around November. However, in one high school in Tennessee, voting for next year's Homecoming King and Queen already took place. And what happened should bring a tear to the eye of any caring human.

Three male students at Community High School were nominated for Homecoming King. The winner was announced at a basketball game. But what came next is very inspiring.

The three male students Jesse Cooper, Drew Gibbs, and Zeke Grissom had decided to turn over the title of Homecoming King to a fellow student who suffers from Williams Syndrome, junior Scotty Maloney. Williams Syndrome is a neurological disorder which inhibits the ability to learn and speak. Jesse Cooper won the popular vote, but because of the prearranged agreement, Jesse did not accept the honor. Instead, the principal of the school announced what the boys had decided to do, and called Scotty out to the court.

The students in attendance erupted in applause and cheered for Scotty. They gave him a standing ovation while he received his "King" medal, according to local news station WKRN.

One of Scotty's teachers, Liz Hestle Gassaway, spoke to ABCNews.Com and told them, "When they called [Scotty's] name, his eyes got really big and I don't know that he registered exactly what was happening. He knew something was. It was very, very emotional."  

Jesse Cooper told WKRN (an ABC News Nashville affiliate) "I've been blessed with so many things, I just wanted Scotty to experience something great in his high school days."

In today's age of bullying, a story such as this is truly inspiring. Stories like this should be front and center. Stories like this should be spread around through each and every school. Maybe we can begin to change the attitude and the climate in schools where bullying occurs on a daily basis. Maybe, just maybe, we can make a difference in this world. All we need to do is show each other some more compassion. Put aside our differences and respect each other for who we are, not what we want the other person to be. Stop the bullying. Stop the hate. Stop the divide. It is time we come together as a people and unite for a stronger country, and a peaceful world.

Jesse Cooper, Drew Gibbs, and Zeke Grissom, you fine gentlemen receive today's Big T.U., Chuck Norris style.

And Scotty Maloney, you get a Thumbs Up as well, Chuck Norris style, cause you sir are a bad ass! Congratulations my man. Wear that medal proud!

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