Monday, January 25, 2010

Inspiring The 'Precious Ones' And Us All!

I am reading Sarah Palin's "Going Rogue" book. One of the best chapters so far happens to be Chapter Six, aptly entitled "Going Rogue" as well. Love the quote at the beginning of the chapter:

I am convinced that life is 10 percent what happens to me and 90 percent how I react to it. And so it is with you...we are in charge of our attitudes. - Charles Swindoll

This portion of the book begins by describing how Governor Palin was whisked away out of Anchorage Alaska on a private jet so that her introduction as the Republican vice presidential nominee would be a surprise.

The chapter is filled with examples of how Sarah Palin and her family were so horribly treated by the press and political detractors. As we now know, the "detractors" became whipped up into a weird and ugly political frenzied machine; intent on trying to destroy Governor Palin and her family.

But what was so heartening to recall and read a year and 3 months after the fact, was how Sarah connected with the children who were born with Down syndrome and their parents and caregivers who she had met along the rope lines at several U.S. cities throughout the nation. The following portion of her account of the events made me tear up:

After, in the rope line, I was moving through the crowd, shaking hands and signing posters and hats and shirts, when I suddenly came to a stop. Standing on the other side of the rope were a woman and two teenagers whom I could not miss. The kids had Down syndrome. A boy and a girl.

"Hi, what's your name?" I said to the girl, smiling.

The girl stammered for a minute and finally managed to say, "Sarah."

"Sarah!" I said. "That's my name, too! It's so great to meet you, and we have the same name. Isn't that amazing?"

Then I turned to the boy, and my heart just melted. Trig's face flashed into my mind, and I thought, This could be my son fifteen years from now.

By then, Trig was going on five months old and we were still learning the ropes of having a child with Down syndrome. We were so enjoying this little guy with his just-happy-to-be-here demeanor and his silly smiles, and watching him get stronger, chubbier, and more fun every day, just like any other baby. Still, we were curious about what was ahead. We were managing well with him as a baby, but what about a toddler? As a teenage?

I reached across the rope and laid my hand against the boy's face. "Let me look at you," I said, "I want to get a good look at how beautiful my Trig is going to grow up to be."

If that last sentence from Sarah doesn't make you well up with tears, maybe nothing will.

Here is a woman who is just learning to deal with a baby with whom most people in society would label as "imperfect." Yet, she turns such a societal label completely around by using uplifting words of support to let that teen aged boy with Down syndrome know that he is beautiful! No wonder crowds of people with special needs children felt emboldened to attend the rallies. They already knew that they would have an ally in the White House if John McCain and Sarah Palin won the election.

Governor Palin writes:

That was a significant turning point for me, personally. At that moment , I realized in awe that these precious ones are all brothers and sisters. Before Trig was born, I didn't know what to expect and we had a natural uncertainty about perceived "imperfection." There on the rope line in Cedar Rapids, I realized that my Trig is part of a large and very special community. And look how this mom was making it work with these two precious teenagers! Look how she cared so much to bring them out to a crowded, hectic, but fun rally and given them what might be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, a presidential campaign event in their own hometown. And I just knew there was no need to fear anymore. At this rowdy rally in Iowa my world became a more peaceful place. Todd was right: everything was going to be all right.

As it turned out, the number of special needs kids and adults who began showing up at events along the trail was spectacular. It was one of the absolute best parts of the campaign. I heard from experienced staffers that organizers would typically need maybe a sign language interpreter and a handicapped area large enough to accommodate a few dozen wheelchairs. But it seemed that at all our stops, the number of wheelchairs multiplied, as did the number of kids and adults with various challenges. At a rally in Fairfax, Virginia, I remember looking about and seeing scores of wheelchairs. In the middle of my speech it started pouring rain. Within five minutes, I looked like a wet dog and my makeup was running off my face. I wanted to keep going and finish because I didn't want to disappoint all those people who had been waiting for hours to hear our ticket's message. Even more, I was inspired to see that not one of the people in wheelchairs made a move to leave.

I thought, This is inspiration!

Governor Sarah Palin? YOU are an inspiration! You were a great inspiration to millions of Americans during the entire 2008 campaign and you continue to be a true voice for Americans today! You were real during the campaign. You are a real, patriotic, God-loving American who brought out the best in people everywhere. There is nothing phony about you; unlike the presidential opponent and well-oiled (and bullying) "machine" that you and John McCain faced during the election race. Those foam faux Greek columns that were placed near Obama when he made another one of his typical teleprompter speeches - filled with great rhetoric but empty promises - showed just how phony he was as a candidate. Governor Palin's speech writer even predicted how Obama would be as president:

A bit later, I launched into a part of the speech that, since Barack Obama's election, has proved Matthew Scully prescient:

"...when the cloud of rhetoric has passed...when the roar of the crowd fades away...when the stadium lights go out and those Styrofoam Greek columns are hauled back to some studio lot--what exactly is our opponent's plan? What does he actually seek to accomplish, after he's done turning back the waters and healing the planet?

"The answer is to make government bigger...take more of your money...give you more orders from Washington...and to reduce the strength of America in a dangerous world. America need more energy...our opponent is against producing it.

"And let me be specific, the Democratic nominee for president supports plans to raise income taxes...raise payroll taxes...raise investment income taxes...raise the death tax...raise business taxes...and increase the tax burden on the American people by hundreds of billion of dollars."

Yep...what a terrific prediction that is now coming true (unfortunately) right before our very eyes!

Back to the rallies.

Sarah goes on to briefly describe other rallies where special needs children and people attended. One group of fifteen kids with Down syndrome wore shirts that read, WE LOVE TRIG! and TRIG IN THE WHITE HOUSE! The fact that these kids could identify with a national campaign was Palin, her family, the people who showed up, and now the entire nation as millions of people read Sarah's best selling book!

May God continue to bless you, Sarah Palin, in all that you do and through any and every endeavor that the Lord leads you to pursue!

No comments: