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The Hard Nosed Mentor

The Hard Nosed Mentor


Hello and good day!

"You're old enough to work now son. During the school year, you don't have time to make money. But its summer now and you have all the time in the world. I'm cutting off your allowance for the next three months," said the dad.

"But I'm only eleven years old pop. Who is going to hire me?" said the son.

"Go ask around. See who needs what. I'm sure there is some yard work you can do around the neighborhood."

The boy knew from experience that it was no use arguing with his old man.

He walked around the neighborhood knocking on doors.

Nobody opened until he got to Mrs. Johnson's house.

"Hello Mrs. Johnson. I'm looking for summer work. Do you have anything you need done? Maybe some yardwork?"

"No, Adam. I'm all squared away, but I'll let everybody know that you are looking."

"Thanks Mrs. Johnson."

The boy knocked on doors all day long, but nothing came of it.

While he was walking in the clear heat of the summer day, sweating, he could hear shrieks of laughter coming from a park up the road.

The park was up on a hill, and from where he was standing, he could see his friends running around in a field of grass on the hill's summit.

There was a rec center behind the field and one of the rec center's outdoor walls had a water spigot.

Sometimes, when the workers at the rec center were in a good mood, they'd hand out balloons and let the neighborhood kids fill up water balloons on the outdoor spigot.

Today was one of those days and the boy was missing out on a big water balloon fight.

He cursed his life and his father.

"I'll bet nobody else had their allowance cut off," thought the boy, angrily, as he shuffled his feet along the pavement, kicking pebbles off the sidewalk into the street.

The boy went to sleep that night filled with bitterness.

At breakfast the next morning, the father reiterated his desires to his son.

"Go out again today son. There is work out there."

After breakfast, the boy went into the street and was immediately greeted by a group of buddies who were on the ground shooting marbles.

"Hey man! You missed the big water balloon fight yesterday. It was the best ever! Come on, shoot some marbles with us," said one of the boy's friends.

"I can't. My dad says I have to look for work," said the boy.

"It's summer! What is he talking about?" said the friend.

"He cut off my allowance," said the boy.

"Ouch. Sucks to be you," said the friend.

Just then, Mrs. Johnson came hustling down the street.

"I have something for you! I have something for you! Come here!" shouted Mrs. Johnson.

The boy crossed the empty street. There were always people out and about on the sidewalks in the neighborhood, but few cars drove through.

"You've got something for me Mrs. Johnson?" asked the boy.

"Yes, but it is a big job. The Logan family across the street want's the inside of their guest house painted. Mrs. Logan told me at the neighborhood watch meeting last night."

"Should I go over there and ask about it?"

"Go right over. I told them you were coming."

The boy went to the Logan house and Mr. Logan answered.

Mr. Logan was a huge man with dark hair and a thick brown mustache.

"Hi Mr. Logan. Mrs. Johnson sent me over to ask about painting your guest house," said the boy.

"Yeah, I heard about that. I can't say that I like it. I don't know if I can trust a boy like you to work hard. But since your dad is a good man, I figured we'd give you a chance. Come on," said Mr. Logan.

The boy followed Mr. Logan to the guest house. It was empty and there were plastic tarps on the ground.

Mr. Logan owned a construction company, and he gave the boy a lesson on painting walls.

"You got any questions?" asked Mr. Logan.

"I don't think so, sir," said the boy.

After that first day of painting, the boy came home exhausted.

The next morning, he told his father he wanted to quit.

"Can you go talk to Mr. Logan for me and tell him I'm backing out? I don't even care about the money," said the boy.

The father drank down the last part of his morning coffee and shook his head.

"If you think any son of mine is going to quit a job in the middle, you are out of your mind. Get over there, son."

Again, the boy's friends were on the corner shooting marbles.

A game of pick-up football was forming in the street and one of the players tried to wave the boy over to play. The boy loved to play pick up football.

But his dad had told him what he had to do, and he couldn't go against it.

He wagged a finger back at the football player in the street.

The boy worked hard every day and got into working shape.It got so that he wasn't tired anymore at the end of days.

Mr. Logan was happy with his work and spread the word about the boy's house painting services.

Other people hired him, and now when the boy left his house in the morning, he had a pocket filled with money, money that he had earned himself, and he began to feel proud and different.

"Are you finally going to play marbles with us today?" asked a friend one morning.

"No, I just got hired for another project. A big one. I have to get to work," said the boy.

Summer came to an end and the kids went back to school.

On the first day, the teacher asked everybody to stand up and talk about what they did during the summer.

It was all shooting marbles, and water balloon fights, and trips to Disneyland, and staying up late and sleeping in, until it was the boy's turn.

"I painted ten houses this summer all by myself," said the boy.

A collective feeling of awe came over the class.

It seemed like an impossible feat.

Then the boy took out his wallet.

He opened it and pulled out a thick stack of bills which he held up high for the class to see.

"I made all this money too," said the boy.

The rest of the students instinctively burst into a round of applause and the boy felt very proud.

New endeavors always suck in the beginning.

Then you get your legs under you, and you grow accustomed to the effort.

And then after a lot of hard work, the best part of all comes.

You earn the right to look back at your accomplishments and show off what you've achieved.

It helps to have a hardnosed mentor who won't let you quit, because in the course of every challenging undertaking, there will always be a moment when you feel like quitting.

Thank you so much for time today.

I hope that you have a truly blessed day!


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