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A Remedy to Feeling Down in the Dumps

Copyright © 2004, Rosemarie Rossetti, Ph.D. - Rossetti Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.
Reprinted with Permission: Women's News Monthly, June 2004


As a professional speaker, I speak to audiences of all ages. Last week I faced 120 elementary school students, age 5-11, for an hour program on setting and meeting goals, and adapting to challenges. By example, I made them aware of the athletic abilities and personal achievements of people with disabilities.

My presentation was followed by a walk-a-thon that benefited the school and my spinal cord injury research fund. The children had received pledges from family and friends for every lap they walked outside the school building. Since I could not walk with them, I rode my three wheeled recumbent bicycle alongside the children.

While participating in the walk-a-thon, Forest, one of the nine year old boys, stopped to chat with me. ”You know, you have the ability to get people out of the dumps!--- I'm one of those people!”

I was amazed at his comment and curious about what I did that made him declare his private thoughts. Three days later, I went back to the school to talk with Forest.  He was stunned to see me in my wheelchair sitting in the school’s office.

I asked him how I got him out of the dumps.

“You're one of the special people in my life. You lifted me!  When you were in the gym giving your speech, it was very amazing that a giant tree fell on you.  I was riding my bike once and fell off and my head hit a tree. I was wearing a helmet, too," he said.

He revealed to me that when I was talking with him during the walk-a-thon, he realized that he shouldn't treat people differently that are blind, can't hear, or can't walk. He also was inspired to get outside and do more things and be more active. He thought he stayed in the house too much.

When I asked him why he was down in the dumps, he said,”That night it was hard to sleep and I woke up on the wrong side of the bed. I had weird dreams and woke up a couple of times.  When my mother woke me up at 7:14 a.m. to get ready for school, I was very sleepy."

Forest had an impact on me. His insight helped me realize the power my presence and words have on others. When he acknowledged that I made a positive difference in his day, my spirit soared. It amazes me how young people interpret my messages and find their own meaning in what I say and do.

It also helped me realize that children need their spirits boosted from time to time. Life deals them problems, conflicts, challenges and hardships too. No one is immune.

People with positive attitudes and positive messages can bring a lot of cheer in the world. Maybe this is one solution to restoring hope in a world that sometimes appears hopeless. A happy spirit is contagious.

Rosemarie Rossetti, PhD









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