Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

Features

August 9, 2013

One person can make a difference

(Continued)

Wiese announced he had spoken in all 50 states and recently had the opportunity to speak internationally in Honduras. While there, he ate lunch with a group of students who “wanted me to try this dish, and I finally agreed.” He said later he discovered it was a live Honduran newt, similar to a lizard.

He asked three young ladies, who volunteered, to come to the stage. After blindfolding them, he said he was going to give them a chance to hold and try a newt. Two of the girls were hesitant and nervous about holding the creatures and didn’t want anything to do with eating them. The third did eat it. Then all three took off their blindfolds and discovered what they were holding were actually candy gummy worms.

The speaker admitted, “I did speak at a school in Honduras, but they didn’t give me newts .... You just saw why it’s difficult to be part of the solution instead of the problem. There is the fear of the unknown and fear of what people might say if you step up and do the right thing. It’s normal to be scared when you’re trying to make something positive happen.

“If we did that activity again, I could pick any three people, and all three would eat the ‘newt’ right away because the fear is gone. We learn from our experiences, but the only way to get the experience is to try and step up.”

He also told the story of Bill, a 20-year-old with Down syndrome, who was a senior in an Arizona high school. “He was different, so he got ignored by the other students. One day, another senior, Kevin, who was captain of the football team, was late for class, and he ran into Bill and knocked him down. Kevin felt bad and helped Bill up.

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