Volunteering for Special Olympics
one of top college experiences
Photo by Megan Sonderegger
By Megan Sonderegger
May 2, 2006 | Excited participants threw their fists
in the air and took their places on the award stands
during Saturday's Special Olympics. The evidence of
their hard work and achievement glowed in their eyes
and their beaming faces revealed the determination of
their journey to excellence.
Volunteering at Special Olympics was one of the most
rewarding activities I've ever been able to participate
in during my college experience. It's amazing to me
that people with such limited capabilities find joy
and accomplishment in activities we consider mediocre.
I guess it makes you consider what motivates you in
life. To us motivation may be determined by success
in money or prestige. We thrive on competition, the
glorified accomplishment of overachieving. What one
man does well, we search to do better and we measure
our success by the esteem we receive by others.
The participants in Special Olympics were motivated
by a desire to be physically and mentally better. They
spent hours and hours training to participate in activities
we do daily. The difference of lifestyles is transparent
but the difference in joy is just as revealing.
We live in a miserable world with miserable people.
Perhaps it is because of these different motivations.
When one concentrates on achieving more then another
it's hard to fulfill what they want for themselves.
People forget the basis of their dreams because they
become overwhelmed in selfish consuming desires.
It was amazing to watch those people, they ran slower
then most, they walked slower then most, they talked
slower then most, and they threw smaller distances than
most but their joy in their accomplishments was greater
than any I have ever seen. Special Olympics was truly
an amazing experience.