Last month Executive Directors, Board Presidents, Special Olympics Inc. and Special Olympics North America staff, along with a hand full of presenters and vendors gathered in Albuquerque for the 2012 Special Olympics United States Business Meeting. When you put that many people in a room together who have committed their lives to the lives of Special Olympics athletes and their families – let me just say there stands no chance of anything happening that is typical or ordinary.
As I usually do, I took away a lot from those three days. Meaningful work was accomplished, friendships thoroughly enjoyed, and a tremendous amount of knowledge and inspiration shared, but one of the unique treasures of this Business Meeting was the night we all went to Tim’s Place for dinner. Tim Harris, one of our Special Olympics athletes is the owner of this restaurant (timsplaceabq.com) and that evening it seemed only appropriate that in the presence of this audience, he share his life’s story.
Since that night I have received many emails and letters of gratitude from my colleagues, all who were moved by Tim and loved being at his Place. I have chosen to share a little of one particular letter from another Tim in the Special Olympics movement, whose words were also powerful and beautifully spoken.
“There’s no question that the highlight of the meeting – and maybe the year – was the evening at Tim’s Place. What a fabulous tribute to you and the New Mexico family that he has emerged in all his strength and charm – confident, happy, forward looking, and empowered. We all knew we were in the presence of a game changing presence – a young man who was challenging us to think bigger, to shatter our own limited vision of what’s possible. And nothing is more important to our movement than that sense of challenge. What a joy.”
And nothing is more important to our world – that we use those words to describe every person born with an intellectual disability and the value that they bring to our lives. By simply being who God created them to be – they make all of us think bigger and redefine what’s possible, and that my friends deserves one very loud “Oh Yeah!”