He would sit, watch, listen, laugh, and learn.
Since no visitors were allowed in the control room, I would often go outside to say hello, offering him advice, encouragement and occasionally giving him record albums or movie passes. These gifts were not why he came.
He wanted to be in radio one day.
Shortly after 6 pm, as my show ended, he would wave goodbye, put up his bike’s kickstand, and roll off back home.
In the summertime, while other children were spending the afternoon playing ball and swimming, he’d still appear at my window, often with a towel tied around his small neck and draped on his shoulders like Superman.
He was a small boy with big dreams.
Over the years, I had often wondered what ever became of him. Then, one day, decades later, I received an email that brought tears of joy to my eyes.
The message was from “the kid at the window”, relating that after college graduation with a degree in communications, he landed his first job in radio, came up through the ranks, and was now the general manager of a radio station in upstate New York. He had made it.
He was writing to say thank you for my positive influence and mentioned that he never passed up an opportunity to help a novice along the way.
His letter served to remind me that we are never too young to dream and always in a position to inspire a fellow dreamer. It’s been said that the true symbol of success is two arms: one stretched up to reach for help and the other extended downward to help another.
And, isn’t this true about anything we say and do around other human beings? We teach and help by the most powerful method ever known: our actions.
Albert Schweitzer once wrote, “Example is not the main thing in influencing others, it is the only thing.”