by Rev. Robert H. Tucker
August 4, 1997
A Michael Jordan Friend
I read that Michael Jordan, as a sophomore in high school,
didn't make the varsity basketball team. What opened his future
was a coach who went out of his way by saying, "Meet me at
7:00 every morning for practice and you'll be on next year's team."
This led me to reflect on my own life. As essential as parents
were, I know other, non-family adults whose affirmation and encouragement
enabled me to move along paths in my life that could in no way
have been predicted from my past. Toward them, I have much gratitude.
I have asked others about the influence of non-family members
in their lives, and each person has quickly responded with names
and specific remembrances. Those helping have varied: teachers
and ministers, bosses and coaches, friends of parents and friends'
parents. In each case, the other person treated them as a 'real'
human being and not as a child.
Not every contact, not every relationship is remembered and
treasured, but others' interest in us has helped to shape each
of our lives. Periodically, someone will tell me how a conversation,
a sermon, or a trip--ordinary noneventful events as far as I was
concerned--are sharply remembered.
As a parent I recall with appreciation those adults who spent
time with my children. I especially remember one who allowed our
youngest to sit with him during worship while both my wife and
I were working. This member (now deceased) knew my son's name
and treated him simply as a fellow human being, conversing person-to-person.
I appreciated his help. Even more, I treasured the friendship
Secret Friends is a way we have initiated those connections.
It needs to be extended so that each one of our children in the
church community has at least one non-parent adult who can greet
that child by name and be able to say, "How are you today?"
Perhaps even a "Happy Birthday" might come forth. Perhaps
even a present or a postcard while on a trip.
Linkages between generations are important, especially in
a society where so many live far from family. Make it a point
to be part of that linkage at First Congregational. Like Michael
Jordan's coach, you, too can be part of someone's treasured memory.
--Robert H. Tucker
4 August 1997
- © Robert H. Tucker, 1997.
- Go to Mind
Matters Table of Contents Page.
- Go to Bob
and Maggi Tucker's Homepage.