Mrs. Patty Young
“You never know how far reaching something you think, say or do today, will affect the lives of millions tomorrow.” B.J. Palmer – Developer of Chiropractic
Several years ago, I watched a movie titled “Here Comes the Boom” about a teacher who had reached a point of apathy after experiencing extraordinary success earlier in his life. Adversity created a moment in time in which he had to make a decision to either continue along his downward spiral or to reach inside of himself to find the inspiration to change the course of events from victim to victor. Though the moment itself brought the decision to excel again…he couldn’t do it alone. None of us ever can…
Once he made the decision to excel, there was nothing but heartache and tears in front of him. If not for the support of those who believed in him more than he believed in himself there would be no way he could accomplish his dream. Those believers were the catalyst for him to overcome his own fears, doubts and insecurities to then take his talents and abilities to make a difference for his school and generations of kids to follow.
What stood out to me more than anything in this movie was the impact that one person can have on another and not even realize it. As BJ Palmer stated, “You never know how far reaching something you think, say or do today, will affect the lives of millions tomorrow.” When I was 13 years old, I had a teacher by the name of Mrs. Patty Young that did just that for me.
As a young, brash and growing in confidence teenager I was beginning to believe that I could get by on talent and charisma alone. I started to take short cuts and do as little as possible both at home and at school to get by. The only area that I put my full efforts into were the sports I participated in…until I was confronted by a teacher who believed in me more than I believed in myself.
After doing terrible on a test that I should have aced, Mrs. Young tracked me down in my following class and asked the teacher if she could have permission to speak with me privately. Stunned, I nervously walked towards her as she led me out into the hallway. With my back against the wall she proceeded to grab me by the ear and let me know that I was wasting my abilities and she wasn’t having any of it. She knew what I was capable of and wanted me to know that anything less than excellence would not be tolerated by her or the world in which I lived, and no one was going to give me a break…starting with her
It was the first time in my young life that anyone outside of my parents spoke to me like that. In that moment, I made the decision that I wasn’t going to let her down and would show her what I was capable of. As a result of that tongue-lashing not only did I Ace the class; I went on to put that same energy and excellence into most everything else that I did.
Several decades later, I went home to Mansfield, OH and the first person I wanted to find was Mrs. Young. I wanted to tell her what a difference she had made to me and to show her what I had accomplished. I wanted to tell her how far reaching what she said in 1978 had changed the course of events that led to my making a difference in the lives of millions today. When I found her, she had since retired, and the very first thing she did after giving me a tremendous hug was to grab my ear and tell me, “I always knew you could be great Brett. I’m just glad that you finally believed what I already saw in you.” As tears poured down my face all I could say was, “Thank you Mrs. Young”.
As we traverse this beautiful journey called life, YOU will be a Mrs. Young to a young boy or girl and will say or do something to change their life forever. We don’t know when or where that may happen and it’s not our job to figure it all out. Our job is to pursue excellence, do the absolute best we can, and let people know they are loved and valued.
As you read this, if you are thinking of your Mrs. Young, I would encourage you to thank them and let them know the impact they’ve had on your life. And if you know someone who isn’t living into their full potential, you might want to grab ‘em by the ear and let them have it. Who knows, that might be the moment you become their Mrs. Young. Believe…