Sunday, July 31, 2016

The Motivational Speaker Who Doesn't Speak

One of the things we've noticed about Teddy is that he often brings out the best in people. I'm certain, in our future, his uniqueness will bring out the worst in a select few people, but I'm not going to dwell on that . We'll deal with that when it happens and for now share the amazing ability Teddy has to make people be kinder, more positive and more empathetic without saying a single word.

We spent this past weekend celebrating my grandpa's 94th birthday, so Teddy got his fill of family fun (and golf cart, 4-wheeler and tractor rides). I have one uncle who is quite accurately described as a Southern redneck. I recall Dave being in awe of the stories my uncle told about the good ol' days when dynamite was readily accessible to deal with beaver dams on your property. This same uncle spent the weekend cajoling Teddy at every opportunity to say, "Uncle John" as his first words.

Another uncle marveled at how far Teddy walked by himself and was so excited for him. He said, "That smile gets me every time." This is the same man who I was amazed to learn prays every night for "Teddy in Oshkosh." (He provides a city as a reference point to make it easy for the Man upstairs to direct the prayers to the right person.)

And Teddy has yet another uncle completely wrapped around his finger. This retired construction worker, farmer and trucker readily greets Teddy with hugs, kisses and golf cart rides. My uncle is considerate to ensure Teddy's grandpa gets his fair share of time and attention, but it's obvious Teddy holds a special place in his heart.

As for my aunts, they adore Teddy, which is expected with their personalities. It's when Teddy pulls the sweetness from less expected places that you realize how special his gift is. Most motivational speakers practice their craft for hours on end and use plenty of words with the hope of reaching at least a few people within their audience. For Teddy, he needs no words to work his magic. His smile, laughter and genuine love of life transform those he meets.


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