Something happened today that went a long way towards reminding me of the basic goodness inherent in most people. Here on campus, the fact that we’ve got the #1 seed in the NCAA tournament is a Big Deal. The players are minor celebrities.
One of them, Roger Powell, is apparently a devout Christian – wants to be a minister. In the wake of the Illini’s incredible season, he was invited to speak at a local church. I met a woman today who attended that talk. She brought her teenaged, Downs Syndrome son with her to the event, and because the lad is a fan, they waited in the church after the talk so he’d have a chance to say hello to Powell. She told me that, due to the Downs, one of the things the boy has trouble with is keeping his syntax in order when he speaks, with sometimes amusing results.
After Powell’s talk, this dear lad marched right up to the basketball star and proclaimed, “You’re my biggest fan!”
Now, one might expect a college-age athlete who could well be on his way to the NBA to snicker a little and shrug off the misstep. Not Roger Powell. He just grinned hugely at the boy and said, “Why yes, I surely am! Could I have a hug?”
He made that boy’s day, and the mother’s, too. So, three cheers for Roger Powell for reminding me that there is still some good in people.