16 everybody is a mentor passiton

Photo by Aziz Acharki on Unsplash

To download these free stories, please enter the newspaper publication you represent with your email address. We will email you when we add new stories each month. Thanks!

Note: We are committed to keeping your e-mail address confidential. We do not sell, rent, or lease our contact data or lists to third parties. Please see our privacy policy for details.

Please enter your organization and email above before downloading these articles.

Download PDF Word .doc Download Photo .jpg

Pass It On®

The Power of Just Being There

By The Foundation for a Better Life

Bill is a Navy vet and retired oil field engineer. His hands are thick, and his fingers branch out in all directions. Pulling on ropes as a sailor off the coast of Maine gnarled a few of them. The others were jammed playing baseball in the South African semi-pro league. He has a story for every break, and for why he leans a bit starboard. He moved back to America late in his career and, after raising his three daughters, found himself with some free time on his hands. So he got to know the boys in the neighborhood who played on the high school baseball team and started going to their games.

Baseball is a game of nuance, mental acuity, and patience. And so is mentoring young men.

Bill simply sat in the stands and watched. It’s a pleasant pastime, whether on summer evenings under the lights or beneath the midafternoon sun and it suited Bill to watch the boys develop their skills. Before long, the boys started looking up at Bill, his elbows on his knees, almost crouching in his familiar catcher’s squat. After a good play, Bill would flash a thumbs-up. An error would earn a smile that meant, “You’ll get another chance.”

It’s rare to see a bond that bridges generations. Bill in his late seventies, the boys just north of earning their driver’s licenses. But soon they were chatting after the games, Bill mostly talking about dusty expeditions into the middle of nowhere in search of new oil fields and the boys asking about playing catcher with such a small glove. Sometimes there were sodas afterward, no heavy discussions about life, just a cool drink, a few laughs and the clack of baseball cleats on the sidewalk as the boys made their way to their cars.

In all his time running crews, playing baseball, and raising kids, Bill had figured out the one thing that’s most important in all of human relationships. Just being there is most often enough. He knew the mistakes he’d made in his life, and when you shook his hand, those fingers testified to a life lived trying. And that’s where every story he told the boys led: Just keep trying. The boys learned to expect a little more from themselves just because Bill was there.

Be there…PassItOn.com

BE THERE...PassItOn.com

Copyright © 2022 | The Foundation for a Better Life | All rights reserved.

Pass It On®

The Foundation for a Better Life, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, gives your newspaper permission to publish these stories in print and electronic media (excluding audio and video), provided the stories are published in their entirety, without modification and including the copyright notice. For any modification, permission must first be obtained from the Foundation by emailing media-relations@passiton.com. Thank you.

  email

Your Comments

No comments have been made yet. Be the first!


Here are some other inspiring newspaper articles you might like.
The Little Things that Make the Biggest Difference.

The Little Things that Make the Biggest Difference.
How one man created a forest the size of Central Park by planting one tree a day.

Laughter is the Best Teacher.

Laughter is the Best Teacher.
How humor and history go together in this classroom.

Being a Mother…

Being a Mother…
The roundabout journey to a dream fulfilled.

Stay Curious.

Stay Curious.
The remarkable underwater life of Jacques Cousteau.

The Art of Pitching.

The Art of Pitching.
A little confidence at the right time goes a long way.

The World Awaits You.

The World Awaits You.
The story of the first woman to circumnavigate the world.

Everybody Gets on Base.

Everybody Gets on Base.
Measuring the victories of life, one single at a time.

An Impossible Journey.

An Impossible Journey.
How John Wesley Powell navigated the Colorado River and Grand Canyon in wooden boats.

Road Trip Across America.

Road Trip Across America.
A discovery of what unites us.

The Least Likely to Help.

The Least Likely to Help.
How a bedridden attorney still fights for the rights of others.

Let the Kids Give it a Try

Let the Kids Give it a Try
How 17-year-old Dasia Taylor developed sutures that detect infection.

Something Healthy for All of Us

Something Healthy for All of Us
How 17-year-old Barron Prize Winners Annie and Shirley Zhu provide fresh food for 1,400 people a year.

Overcoming Our Own Worst Mistakes.

Overcoming Our Own Worst Mistakes.
Kaelin Clay made an unpardonable error in football. And he owned it.

The Legacy of Dorothy Vaughan.

The Legacy of Dorothy Vaughan.
The Hidden Figure who Helped Put a man on the Moon.

A Lesson We Should Never Forget.

A Lesson We Should Never Forget.
The incredible story of American POWs smuggling rations to Russian prisoners at Stalag-B.

Sometimes the Wrong Direction is the Right Way.

Sometimes the Wrong Direction is the Right Way.
How a wrong number, a wrong text and a mix-up led to long-lasting friendships.

Beyond the Moon with an Eye on Mars.

Beyond the Moon with an Eye on Mars.
The story of a young woman who dreamed of pushing the boundaries and now designs launch systems for NASA.

Taking Responsibility.

Taking Responsibility.
How one high school student supported her family during the pandemic.

The Future Belongs to Kids.

The Future Belongs to Kids.
So far, things look pretty bright.

More Than Just Dancing

More Than Just Dancing
How inclusion helps overcome mental illness.

The Brotherhood in Sports Goes Beyond the Field.

The Brotherhood in Sports Goes Beyond the Field.
How a men’s rugby team supported one of their own.

For the Cost of a Box of Cereal.

For the Cost of a Box of Cereal.
How just noticing makes all the difference in the world.

Beatrice Shilling

Beatrice Shilling
The motorcycle daredevil who became a mechanical engineer and saved the lives of countless pilots in WWll.

Billy Mills

Billy Mills
The story behind America’s first and only 10,000-meter Olympic champion.

Born to Make a Difference.

Born to Make a Difference.
Kids who are changing their world.

Reach for the Stars…

Reach for the Stars…
No Matter How Long it Takes.