This is not a fairy tale. This is a true story of a person we will call Bill, who came to know and be mentored by two other individuals, Bob and Jim. Jim came into Bill’s life first and had so much knowledge to share and was very willing to do so. Bill would make mistakes – in fact on a fairly regular basis, but Jim was always there to help out and to show Bill the way. In fact despite the fact that Bill wondered if he would ever be as good as Jim he was very happy to have someone around to show him where he was going wrong. Later in Bills life he had another mentor. His name was Bob.
This person also was able to help Bill. In fact he not only helped Bill but just about everyone that came in touch with him. It was very interesting because almost everyone was drawn to Bob. He always had nice things to say and was very encouraging. He made everyone around him feel well liked. He was always reminding others of the good things that they did and of their positive points, pointing out the things they were doing correct and not just the mistakes they were making. It is a funny thing. After many years the relationship between Bill and Jim began to wane. While Jim was very good at what he did and was admired by all his peers, and despite the criticism he gave was valid, it was never balanced with any praise. In fact it was very constant. In the mean time the relationship of Bill and Bob was one that continued for over 30 years and continues to this day. Yes he gains from the insight of Bob, but just as important, he gains from the special talent Bob has of bringing out the best in other people. That talent, that special skill is the ability to affirm others. That is courtesy at its very best. “Kind words do not cost much…Yet they accomplish much.” Blaise Pascal