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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Bank Accounts and What Counts

I don't believe that anyone entered the field of education to get riches measured in money and luxuries. However, I became enriched yesterday afternoon through a thoughtful surprise - the kind that rewards many educators and happens just often enough to sustain their dedication and extend their hope.

While I was away from home attending our first Open House my wife answered the phone and discovered the caller to be a young man who went to a school in Texas where I served as principal over twenty three years ago (he's 36 years old now - don't waste time doing the math, I'm very old experienced ).

My wife explained that she would give me his number and I'd return his call the next day. I finally reached him in between a meeting I had at the University at Albany and the beginning of our Open House. He described a conversation he and a few friends were having about people from elementary and junior high school who made a difference in their lives. He wanted to let me know that he appreciated the belief I had in him many years ago despite the difficulties he and his family were encountering in his childhood and the troubles he wrestled with at school. He added that he didn't really understand why I did what I did and said what I said during our conversations when he was sent to the office. And then he updated me on how his life has evolved since we were last together. He told me was married to a terrific woman and explained how proud he was of his own two kids. He shared his hopes for his children and informed me that he had a good job. It was a pleasant and privileged conversation. He made my day - and then some!

Most of all - his phone call, after all these years, reaffirmed the energy and effort that I devote to my responsibilities. Making a positive difference in others is what counts more than bank accounts. After all is said and done your legacy is much more valuable than how much money you made.

1 comment:

  1. Dr. Mugits ~

    I'm not surprised.

    "A hundred years from now, it will not matter what kind of car I drove, what kind of house I lived in, how much money I had in the bank...but the world may be a better place because I made a difference in the life of a child."

    Though I have been lucky with many of my college professors, the educators that made an impact on my life were from my elementary and high school years.