The Generosity of Golfers & Monks

Golfer at a golfcourse

Brandon Mathews is a 25-year-old professional golfer. He was in a tie for the championship of the Argentine Open when during his final putt someone in the crowd yelped. Distracted by the sound, Mathews flinched, missed the putt and lost.

Back in the clubhouse, he was angry until he was told that it was a man with Down Syndrome who made the sound, unintentionally, out of excitement, not malice. Familiar with the struggles those with Downs Syndrome face, Mathews immediately went to meet the man.

Mathews described their encounter this way, “I gave him a hug and I asked him, “Hey, are you doing OK? Are you having fun?” I just wanted to make sure he was enjoying himself, that he had no hard feelings, that he didn’t feel bad about what happened. I didn’t want anyone to be mad at him. I didn’t want him to be mad at himself. I wanted to make sure he knew that I wasn’t mad. That’s all I wanted to do.”

This kind of attentiveness and responsiveness to the needs and feelings of others is a cornerstone of Franciscan living…

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