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
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.