Last week at the stable where I volunteer, I watched four people, including a very persistent teacher, get a severely disabled child onto his horse. The facts of this situation were similar to those I've seen many times over the past 18 months, except for the significant resistance this child made to getting on the horse this particular day. As I then began my regular duties, the scene continued to replay in my mind.
How many times in my life have I resisted doing something that was of clear benefit to me? How many times have I allowed fear of an unknown control me? What would have happened if instead a strong and persistent teacher did not permit me to cave into my fear? I have seen "The Miracle Worker" several times; I'm deeply moved each time Anne Sullivan refuses to allow the young Helen Keller to quit. I'm sure part of what moves me is recognizing that the times I've given up, I've given in to fear.
Less than 15 minutes after watching the scene described above, this same child was sitting up proudly on his horse. With the teacher's words of instruction and encouragement loud enough I could hear her across the wide paddock I was clearing, the child lifted out of his seat and posted. Although too far away to see his face, I know he was happy; his laughter told me so.