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CAC Corner: You Can Change the World for One Person

Matthew Bone

01/08/2014

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Basketball player helping child dunk ball
A member of the USU men's basketball team helps a TOP Sports participant dunk a ball

This blog entry talks a lot about the University of Alabama quarterback, AJ McCarron.  There are examples like this all over at USU, for example, when members of the USU men's basketball team visited the children at TOP Sports. Go Aggies!

Just before the Sugar Bowl, ESPN had a story about AJ Starr and AJ McCarron.  AJ Starr has Cerebral Palsy and AJ McCarron has been the quarterback for Alabama.  They have become friends and McCarron has helped Starr find a way to fit into the university lifestyle.

The story as shown on ESPN made me appreciate people who reach out to help others. It also left me with concerns.  Starr says that his involvement with the football team helped him a lot. Previously he felt alone and isolated. Everyone will feel this way once in a while, but a person who is differently abled will probably have those feelings more than other people.

It is easy to look the other way or believe someone else will become the friend of a disabled person.  It can easily be thought that it might be too much of a bother, or too hard to take time to get to know someone who is different from the rest of the people you know. Luckily there are people out there who are willing to try.

Amazingly, if you ask most of the people who are friends with a disabled person, why they are friends, you will find it is for the same reasons you are friends with the people you know. They are fun to be around, a nice person to talk to, non-judgmental, and some of the happiest people around.

As Americans we have come a great distance in the way we treat people with disabilities.  There are wonderful places like the CPD that are working to improve things. Take some time to look around at the CPD web site. See if there is an opportunity that you could use to help you become better.

While we cannot change the world, we can change the world for one person. All we need to do is look for the opportunities and like AJ McCarron did stop and ask someone if they need a hand.

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