Now, write them a letter
Think back to a time.
A time when someone did something special for you that changed your life.
They set you on a path. Perhaps straightened you up, showed the courage to have the conversation you needed to have, even if you didn’t quite understand or appreciate it at the time.
Take yourself back to that time and place.
Picture their face.
Remember the conversation, deed or effort, and wonder, just for a moment, what may have become of you had they not made that effort.
Now, write them a letter.
Not just any letter. It will tell a story, written in your hand, pen and paper. What they did, how it affected you, what it meant, and why you have never forgotten.
If it is a long story, make it a long letter. If you make a mistake writing it, so be it. You are human, trying to convey one of the deepest and most powerful human emotions, your heartfelt gratitude.
As I write this, I cannot help but think of those who would never receive such a letter from me.
I see my late father’s face. Alan Schwab, forever young, who always and unfailingly trusted me more than I trusted myself, but also without knowing it, taught me the most powerful of lessons as a young man – heroes are human and that’s ok.
I see the wise face of the old coach Allan Jeans, who taught me “It is not how you got knocked down, it is how you get up”, but also put out his hand to help me find my feet.
I see Neville Crowe’s wonderful moustachioed smile, the President of the Richmond Football Club, who appointed me CEO of Richmond when I was only 24, and took it upon himself to coach and mentor, but never made me feel young. A beautiful man.
Think of your letter, handwritten envelope amongst the bills and junk in the letterbox, carefully opened and unfolded.
Your hero will probably sit down to read it, smiling, then read it for a second and third time, perhaps even show it to a loved one such is their pride.
Kept forever in a safe place.
Who will receive your letter?
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