It’s almost weird how many people have asked me if I’ve made any New Year’s Resolutions. When I was much younger, I used to make my list – eat healthier, read more, travel more, etc. Having had the privilege of being in the presence of our Special Olympics athletes the past 25 years, my thinking on the matter of those New Year’s resolutions has changed from what I hope to do in the next year to who I hope to become.
The definition of “become” is “grow to be,” and this is what I have observed. When given opportunities to participate in life, people with intellectual disabilities “grow to be” more than they are. When we as nondisabled people are with them, without effort or intention on their part, they help us grow to be more than who we are.
It is with that thought in mind I hope all of us spend more time with our athletes this year. They and we will be better for it.