Win the Inner Battle with Mawi

You have more in you than you can imagine.

No Expiration Date on the Difference You Make

by Mawi on June 12, 2012

I was at a wedding on Saturday and ran into a man named Henry. Henry used to tutor kids in the low-income neighborhood where I lived during high school – Henry’s specialty was math.

Henry and I started talking about Mike, one of the kids I grew up with. Mike had dropped out of high school and gone in and out of jail for five years. By the time he was 24, most people had long given up on Mike.

Several years ago, Henry received an unexpected phone call from Mike. Mike had gotten out of jail and was trying to turn his life around. But Mike had one problem: Mike couldn’t pass the math section of the GED. (passing the GED is considered equivalent to earning a high school diploma.)

After not talking to him for years, Mike called Henry and said, “You are the only person I know who understands math. Can you help me pass the GED?” Henry worked with Mike. Mike passed the GED.

I find this story moving and inspiring because so often in life, we cannot see that we are having an impact.

But here was Mike, going in and out of jail for years, getting into all sorts of trouble, but in the back of his head, never forgetting that there was a guy named Henry who cared about him.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Deb Casey June 12, 2012 at 1:40 pm

It’s a wonderful skill to be able to ask for help. I see asking for help as containing several steps. First you have to recognize that you need help. Then you have to being willing to admit it, not just to others, but to yourself. And then you have to figure out who you know that has the resources you need. Finally, you have to ask. Some people think it’s an easy thing to do. It’s not. It requires resourcefulness, clarity, self-understanding, and often times an ability to set aside pride. I’m happy to hear that Mike, after everything he’d been through, was able to take the steps of asking for help and find success. I like the inspiration.

2 Mawi June 12, 2012 at 1:55 pm

So true, Deb! How many of us are willing to ask for help when we need it – even if we know who to ask.

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