One of our longtime and visionary SO leaders, Randy Mascorella from New Mexico, USA, often shares thoughts that inspire me. Her blog this week was like others–filled with insight about the lessons of our movement.
Check out her note below and let me know what you think. I for one wish I’d been at the wedding and that I knew the bride, Desiree Romero, and groom, Ryan Hanson. But even without being there, I’m inspired by their love and their example and I believe their marriage has lessons for all of us.
As children all over the world go back to school this month, very few will be attending classes where the subject matter has anything to do with getting married. But what a great gift it would be if schools taught young people the lessons Randy shares. Prepare, show up, participate. These are lessons that our young Special Olympics Project Unify leaders are trying to teach all over the country as they organize Unified Sports programs, Spread the Word campaigns, and volunteer recruitment drives. They’re asking their peers, their teachers, and their families to do the work necessary to understand differences and the power of inclusion. They’re asking them to show up for acceptance and dignity. They’re asking them to participate in the Special Olympics Dignity Revolution by playing unified and living unified too.
I never thought of Special Olympics as a training ground for marriage before. Silly me. I should know better than to ever underestimate the power of Special Olympics.
They Did and They Will
Originally Featured on the blog Thoughts from Randy
Saturday I had the pleasure of attending my first wedding where the bride and groom were both Special Olympics athletes. Love showed up everywhere at this wedding, and so many moments were tender and “simply them.” I left that cathedral in Santa Fe feeling like I had just attended the wedding of all weddings.
The Priest who presided over the ceremony did a beautiful job of creating a message that all 700 of us could relate to. He compared marriage to competing in an Olympic Games.
His first point was PREPARATION, explaining that you don’t just show up and run in the Olympics without having prepared for it. He talked about how much work has to be done before the Games even begin. He shared that our bride and groom started as friends years ago and that over time, their families became friends. They all “worked-out together” to give themselves the best chance for this marriage to succeed.
His second point was about SHOWING UP. How much courage it takes to be there – to make a commitment and keep it – day after day after day. He talked about the fact that there would be good days and bad days, but the most important thing would be that as husband and wife, they honor each other and themselves by continuing to show up.
Lastly, he spoke about PARTICIPATION. He said that unlike other sporting events where winning was what mattered most, Special Olympics was all about participating. He told us that doing one’s best is the thing that makes participating worth celebrating! He congratulated them for embracing that.
I’ve never been married nor have I competed in an Olympic Games, but I thought his three points were relevant to life in general. Prepare, show up, and participate – each one important – all three necessary.