Let me tell you about someone I’m glad to know. He’s a cousin of mine. He lives on the other side of the Atlantic so I don’t see him much, but I wish I did. I’ve been learning about his great achievements and building a picture of the high-minded man he’s grown up to be. He is, in a word, amazing. But I’m not here to list his talents or successes, although they are worth boasting about. Instead, I want to shine a little light on the people who I believe played an enormous role in his spectacular ripening. There were five of them . . .
Number one was his groupie. She rooted for him from the very beginning and persuaded him that the world was rooting for him, too. She boosted his confidence until it became as unshakeable as a mountain.
Number two was his adviser. She helped him to define his inner longings and educated him on how to hone his skills. Using her own experience and knowledge, she wisely guided him towards the best possible decisions.
Number three was his team-mate. She put in the same level of commitment and dedication as he did. She was a person from whom he received both support and collaboration. If he ever didn’t show up or perform his best, she would know it and push him to do better next time.
Number four was his anchor. She showed him that uncertainties were part of life and never let him lose sight of his values. When the going got tough, she lifted his spirits and reminded him to trust.
Number five was his student. She challenged his thinking, questioned his motivations and demanded his attention, creativity, optimism, and respect. She indefatigably shaped his leadership skills and gave him the gifts of patience and perseverance.
At this point, I’m going to confess that this is nothing but speculation; I don’t have the slightest clue whether or not he knows such people. But I’m going to bet with certainty that if he doesn’t, he managed to find them within himself.