He asked the best questions.
Smart questions. Sensitive questions. He wanted ideas for answers, as much as the answers themselves. It was a real conversation – a talking with, not a talking to – and it was refreshing. More for me, perhaps, than for him. I’m not really sure.
“He” is a very talented graphic designer in his mid-twenties. I’m a fairly talented graphic designer in my mid-sixties. And I would venture to say that both of us are the exceptions to the clichéd definitions of what we’re supposed to be. He’s a workhorse, constantly curious and proud of what makes him unique (without taking those gifts for granted). And I am, well, basically the same. So, we meet on common ground, separated by age, yet bridged by a shared energy.
I’ve always taken mentoring and teaching and sharing of ideas and being a good ambassador very seriously. I think it’s what we’re put here to do – to pass the baton on a daily, ongoing basis; to tell stories of how we got to where we are; to encourage and challenge and compliment but always be honest; to keep the creative river flowing.
And when a moment like this comes (especially if that moment is requested) to be that ambassador, to be that guide – I stop and I smile, as I remember those who opened their worlds to me along the way.
And I say, with my internal voice, “Thank you.”
The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches but to reveal to him his own.
– Benjamin Disraeli