“Be a Friend,” by Dr. James R. Wining

Looking back over your development years have you ever thought about who made a difference in your life? Can you as an adult remember what that person did and how it helped you as an adult? Many if not most of us enjoy a supportive parental framework, an educational system for life skills and an ethics and morals foundation source. However, do you know that person who went beyond these supportive mechanisms and was unselfish in the giving of time and involvement in your developing life? This person does not have the responsibility of a parent or guardian, the legal obligation of a teacher or the motivation of religious guidance. 

This person defines friend in away that steps up from respect and trust and catapults to an agape love. The most valuable component of a person’s life is time. This friend in your life would be willing to give time to you monthly, weekly and even daily. Not only does this friend give time for you but also sees where you are as a youth and where you could be as an adult. Your friend is assessing your abilities, foreseeing your adult needs and matches these together to determine what areas in your youth need special attention.

As a child growing up I was blessed with loving parents, good schools and a supportive church. Many would say who can ask for more?  I certainly did not conjure any needs beyond family, college and church support. However, in adult life I would transverse both business and religious endeavors which would require good reading and writing skills.  My friend spent the time to know who I was as a youth which included abilities and aptitude. She knew I was not mechanically inclined but surmised my future had something to do with interaction skills. My Aunt Pat was right!

She set a goal of expanding my vocabulary, improving my spelling skills and applying both in daily use. I am not certain when it started but I would guess when I was in the 8th grade. Every day Monday to Sunday we would have about a 3 minute telephone conversation. Aunt Pat would call, announce the word of the day, spell it and then use it in a sentence. I would repeat the word to her, spell it and then use it in my own sentence. I also, used the word during that day at least once. I believe she expanded my verbal and written skills by approximately 3,000 words.

I cannot point specifically to the affect of this mentoring but I can say I used this information to graduate from college, obtain responsible positions in business and to preach/teach The Word of God. Who could receive more from a friend? Now passed my Aunt Pat Gaddis will always be the tutor in my mind who taught me how to connect and spread The Word of God. Do you have such a friend?