“…It’s not us that were teaching Radio. It was Radio that was teaching us.”
-Ed Harris (Coach Jones in ‘Radio’)
As I sit here writing, thinking of Radio and the movie about his life and relationship with Coach Jones, a smile comes across my face and my heart. I recall how gentle, loving, warm-hearted and kind Radio was to everyone, even though he was mentally challenged and not quite the ‘same’ as most of the people in the movie. People who seemed to shun him due to his condition and his uniqueness or who mocked him because they felt that he was too ‘dumb’ to do anything about it. In their ignorance, as they mocked Radio, they had no idea that he was the example for how we should treat everyone that we meet.
As human beings when we see those that are mentally challenged or ‘different’ from us we tend to look down upon them or keep our distance from them, due to the fact that they make us feel uncomfortable or we feel that they will approach us and we won’t know how to interact with them, or simply they may cause us some level of embarrassment. When we do this, we are making ourselves ‘bigger’ than others and most likely missing a chance to show kindness to another person whose entire reason for living is to give and show kindness to others because that is what they’re life entails.
Radio went about his daily life living simple and as a child would, listening to his radio and riding in his shopping cart with the wind against his face. He would have a ‘Hello’ on his lips and a crooked smile to greet everyone as he met them. Even when people were treating him wrong or mocking him, he was slow to anger and continued in his unique ‘Radio Way.’ As coach Jones took him under his wing after his mother’s passing and people began to give him a chance, they noticed that Radio may have been ‘different’ but he was the most Loving individual in the town, bringing people together in love and inspiring smiles and laughter where ever he went.
In my experiences throughout life, I have found that those individuals, who are ‘different,’ like Radio, are the most caring and loving individuals that one can know. They don’t care much about money, or what the status quo is, or what is being worn, or if they impress everyone, they simply want to receive and give Love, as we ALL should be doing because that is why GOD put us here in the first place. Those of us who are not labeled as ‘different’ should show those that are, the same respect and dignity that we seek to be shown. Radio is ‘different’ and his difference changed an entire town and I’m sure many more around the World. He set the example for all of us. If I choose to follow anyone’s example, it will be Radio’s. His is closest to GOD’s.
What’s your name?