People come into our lives.
Some stay close for years to come, others fade away quickly.
Mentors guide us.
Teachers instruct us.
Old friends challenge us, new friends excite us.
But what is the word for the people from your past who changed your life for the better with a simple act of kindness or generosity.
I ran into just such a person on Grant’s Trail recently.
We call him Mr. Fitz
His son and I were close in high school and college.
And several months after graduation, I was living in my parents’ basement, trying to figure out what to do with my life.
The phone rang. It was Mr. Fitz.
“Hey turks, what are you doing these days?”
“Nothing much,” I replied.
“Why don’t you come down to Gray & Ritter (his law firm) and help us out with this case?”
So began my return to an interest in the law.
I worked for two years between college and law school at G&R, sorting mail, running errands, tracking down documents (this was pre-internet) for cases the firm was handling.
This little job literally changed the trajectory of my life.
It reignited my desire to be a lawyer.
It led me to law school.
It introduced me to many of my very best friends.
If I hadn’t gone to law school when I did, I would not have met my wife.
My four kids wouldn’t be on the planet.
All from a simple act of generosity from someone in a position to help.
Nobody asked him to do it. He just did it.
And changed my life.
Never underestimate how a small act of kindness, especially an unrequested one, can change someone else’s entire future.
You may have to seek out such an opportunity, but it is so worth it.