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OT: Making a difference that really matters . . .

I’ll start off by indicating that this post has absolutely nothing to do with any of my published categories – but rather with mentoring.  If you’ve never considered mentoring someone younger, I strongly urge you to.  My experience with this came about in a rather unusual fashion, and doesn’t include volunteering with any formal organizaiton.  To be honest, I didn’t even see myself as a mentor for the first couple years . . . it’s only been in the last few years that I have come to realize that I was in fact a mentor, although as time progresses it is becoming increasingly difficult to determine just who is mentoring whom from day to day :^)   If you have the opportunity, I urge you to consider taking part and making a difference in someone’s life – it has proven to be the absolute most rewarding thing I have done in my time on Earth thus far . . .

A little over 4 years ago, I was introduced to a scrawny little 15 year old high-school freshman who we hired part-time when I was still working for my family’s business.  As I got to know him, it became apparent that he needed some guidance.  It’s not that he was a bad kid or in any kind of major trouble – but he was pretty much on his own.  He came and went as he pleased, and his parents didn’t keep track of him.  Despite the 9 year age difference, we became friends, and I stepped into a big-brother role, primarily to watch out for him – because he was a really good kid, and I wanted to make sure he didn’t do anything stupid to jeopardize the virtually limit-less future in front of him.

Well, it’s four years later and he’s still somewhat scrawny – but he’s not just another kid or just a co-worker anymore.  As far as we’re both concerned, we’re brothers.  Whatever is missing in terms of a blood relationship has been more than made up for in a bond forged while dealing with girlfriends, broken hearts, divorce and totalled cars.  He has taught me so much about myself and has had such an impact on me, that I cannot imagine being the person I am today without him in my life.  No matter how much I try to convey that message, he has a hard time believing that he has helped me . . . but then again, I have a hard time believing I’ve made as big of a difference as he says I have.  So maybe we’re just too much alike :^)

So what brought this post on?  I moved him up to Iowa State this weekend, and since this is his sophomore year, it was naturally a whole lot easier to leave him up there than it was last year.  I’m so unbelievably proud of him – besides being one of the most popular guys in his fraternity and very intelligent, he’s really matured and is fair, honest, passionate and hard-working.  He’s majoring in Mechanical Engineering, has made Dean’s List each semester thus far, and was elected Scholarship Chair for the house.

Thanks to Unlimited Nights & Weekends on our cell phones, we talk daily – but it’s just not the same as having him around. 

I guess it all just boils down to the fact that I miss my brother . . .

1 Comment

  1. Roger Crawford

    Way to go Chad…. it is strange how things like this really make a difference in this world we have now days and it is good to hear about things like this.

    Roger Crawford


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