How to Counter Our National Despair: Meet Those Who Are Different

Special Olympics athletes participate in the Unified Basketball game during 2016 NBA Allstar Weekend at the Enecare Center in Toronto, Canada on Saturday February 13, 2016.
(Ben Solomon/SOI)

Timothy Shriver, Chairman and CEO of Special Olympics International and a leader in the social connectedness movement, writes for the Washington Post about the need to break down barriers and unite in this age of divisiveness. His medium: through play and sports. 

Exclusion and isolation is still a pressing issue for millions of people around the world. Fear of the other has contributed to the marginalization of many groups, especially people with intellectual disabilities. However, overcoming fear, anxiety and divisiveness isn’t necessarily a tall order according to Tim. 

Tim offers a path forward that highlights the importance of more face-to-face time with friends, family and community: “So here is their formula for countering our national despair: meet. Meet those who are different. Meet in situations of fun and friendship. Play together. Join a team. Create common ground. Learn a skill together. Challenge yourselves to support one another. And then repeat and share, and repeat again. And slowly, fears and labels recede, and what’s left is just another human being, eager to matter, eager to contribute, eager to belong.” 

Read his full article here