“Help! I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.”
Ok, not quite, but let me explain. Last week while I was teaching some of the Vietnamese kids how to throw a frisbee I attempted to chase down an errant throw and, not surprisingly, slipped and skinned my knee. Had I taken the same tumble in America I would have received fingers pointed, giggles suppressed, and maybe, if I were lucky, a “rub some dirt on it.” Thankfully two of my favorite Vietnamese 9th graders–Rocky and Jerry Quaven (yes, they had us give all of the kids English names the first day … but that’s a separate story that could be a whole new blog post) were there to save the day. Sizing up at 5’3″ 100 lbs each, both kids rushed to my aid in order to help me with my “immobile” leg. Standing up, ready to continue playing, I clearly was not aware of the apparent severity of my injury. Dr. Rocky and nurse Jerry Qua had not yet finished their work. Each grabbed an arm, slung it over their shoulders, and proceeded to attempt to carry me to the equipment room for bandages.
While we put so much emphasis on the words we speak, I’ve come to realize that words can be a minimal part of who we are as people and how we interact with one another. Sadly, when we are getting to know someone the words being spoken can sometimes cloud the picture of who they truly are at the foundation.
The extent of our communication has been one word botched versions of the other’s language, facial expressions, and hand gestures. Truth be told, I know nothing about them, they know nothing about me. Yet we know each other. Through this experience, I have gained valuable insight into one of Coach Cutcliffe’s favorite lessons for our team: “Who you are as a person is based on your day to day habits.” While we put so much emphasis on the words we speak, I’ve come to realize that words can be a minimal part of who we are as people and how we interact with one another. Sadly, when we are getting to know someone the words being spoken can sometimes cloud the picture of who they truly are at the foundation. Rocky and Jerry Quaven know me and I know them. It doesn’t take words to sort good people from bad people. Who they are is illustrated through their actions.
As I continue to receive daily checkups from my two hobby medical professionals, I am thankful for the bond that this program has allowed me to make with the children from rural Vietnam and I dread the day I have to leave them. Two kind-hearted Vietnamese children is the best “Life-Alert” button a guy like me could ask for.