Hello, this is Jim Denison - welcome to the cultural commentary. Today's news in spiritual perspective: Tim Tebow called high school football player Matthew Hardy earlier this week; why is this event making headlines? Well, here's the story. Matthew survived a car crash last Saturday involving a drunk driver, but his girlfriend and a friend were killed. Friends created the Twitter hashtag #TebowCallMatt, hoping to get the quarterback's attention. Their campaign worked. Tebow learned about Matthews tragedy and called him. Tebow said later, "you think 'what have I done to deserve an opportunity to encourage a kid like that' - it's worth everything, and it's awesome! It's better than any touchdown I've ever scored."
People magazine is profiling individuals whose extraordinary bravery and kindness stood out this year, among them: Michael McDonald and Dylan Smith who rescued six people during superstorm Sandy; JD and James Bennett who pulled two toddlers from a burning van in California; Madison Walrath who save 22 horses in a burning barn; and NYPD Officer Larry Deprimo, whose gift of shoes to a homeless man made international headlines.
Here's another inspirational story that has gone viral: Jared Stevens is on the Sunset Middle School wrestling team in Nashville Tennessee; he also has cerebral palsy. He cheers for his team during practices and matches, but has long wanted to wrestle. When Sunset was competing against Freedom Middle School a few days ago, his coach asked Freedom's coach which wrestler on his team coach has the kindest heart. He was introduced to 7th grader Justin Kievit. As the video shows, Jared's coach placed him on the gym floor. Justin shook his hand and lay down beside him, put Jared's arm over his body and was pinned, giving Jared the victory.
Sometimes Winning Isn't the Right Thing
Good Morning America told their story yesterday morning, as Jared's father said, "The two adjectives that come out of this whole episode are courage and character, on both of these guys parts." Justin said, "Sometimes winning isn't the right thing - isn't the most important thing." The news anchor who reported the story said "it makes you feel better about the world." It does indeed, in a society worried this morning about the economy, riots in Egypt, chemical weapons in Syria, and climate change - these stories prove that a simple act of compassion impacts more people than we can imagine. It doesn't take much salt or light to make a big difference! So be encouraged - your next act of kindness can change the world. The darker the room, the brighter the candle.