Where did Brian learn to be Brian? Simple, Brian is very much a product of his own training and his mentors. But more than his teachers and even his own parents, Brian had a single mentor whom he revered above them all.
All my adult life, I’ve strived to be a disciple of my mentor. While he lived, I saw him, as “the most beautiful model of a perfect life.”
What were the things that Brian learned from from his mentor? I learned the importance of:
- Hard work
- Constancy to friends
I also learned how to keep an open mind and listen to anyone who could contribute, how not to play favorites, how to take responsibility and blame, and how to put other people at ease. I learned how to yield the floor to experts and use their advice, how to respect tradition, how to keep a good schedule, and never get worked up.
This mentor taught Brian how to know when to push something or someone and when to back off. He taught me to be indifferent to superficial honors and to treat people as they deserved to be treated.
It’s quite a list, isn’t it? Better still that the lessons were embodied in my mentors actions rather than written in some book. There is no better way to learn than from a role model. There is no better way to judge our progress than in constant company with the person we would most like to be one day.
It’s easy to say, but each of us needs to cultivate people like that in our lives. We need to comport ourselves as their disciples, striving to do as they do and to never fall short of their standards if we can help it. And of course, we need to hold them up for view and record, so that we may never forget.
By Brian Nadon