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September 10, 2012 / TeknoKai

Another Quick Note on Philosophical Sunday … A Thank You To A Mentor

Just another quick note on this “Philosophical Sunday” I’m having.  When I was in high school, one of my greatest mentors and friends was also one of my teachers.  Mr. Roger Whitlock taught marketing and was the head of the DECA chapter when I was a senior.  One thing I learned in his class has surpassed all boundaries – and I find myself thinking of it daily, even today.  He had a saying.  “Be where you’re supposed to be, when you’re supposed to be there, doing what you’re supposed to do, until it’s time to go.”  This was written on one of our classroom walls.  It was meant firstly as a guide for us students at school, but secondly as as guide to how to succeed at a job, because I, like most of my friends in high school, started working when I was legally able to (at age 15) and have ever since.

I just want to take a moment to thank Mr. Whitlock for this.  Because it has not only given me a guideline for school, when I was there, or work, but also led me daily as I try to live my life.  I’ll break it down for you quickly so maybe you can see what I mean.

  1. Be where you’re supposed to be.  I am I’m here, on earth, in my tiny little town I call home in Mississippi.  I may travel to big places and see the sights, but I eventually come home to where I know I belong.
  2. When you’re supposed to be there. I’m doing that also.  It’s called the “Here and Now” – the past can show me what I’ve done, and the future can be a blank slate.  But the “Here and Now” is all I can actively change if i try.
  3. Doing what you’re supposed to do.  This bit gets a little murky for some people, who don’t have the initiative to seek out something to do.  Some people call it the “Management Gene”, I prefer to think of it as doing what I think needs to be done.  In life, the only thing I can do is serve, help, love and protect my fellow man.  I try to do this daily.  I harbor no ill will towards anyone.  If I can help someone in any way, I do it.  Whatever is possible for me at the current time.
  4. Until it’s time to go.  And that, my friends, means until I have finished my given time on this planet with my people, my friends, my relatives, and everyone else that I may or may not come into contact with.  You have to be ready for anything.  And I try to keep doing all these things daily until I know it’ll be my time to pass on.

This is what I use as the blueprint of my life.  I’m not perfect.  I never will be.  I’m too human to be anything other than me.  But hopefully, by following these simple steps that I was taught long ago and far away in another time and place, but that I’ve kept dear to me all these years, maybe when I am gone there will be someone who will remember me.  And remember me for being the kind of person I was, and how I lived, rather than whether or not I was was rich or politically influential.  That’s all I can hope for.  And I’m living proof that people who care, and teach, and share with our children are remembered.  So thank you, Mr. “Whit”, for helping me to gain the clarity I have today.  I’m not special, or famous, or anything wild.  I’m just me.  But I love my fellow man, and my home and my planet, and my God with all that I am, and maybe I’ll have done enough one day to make a difference.  Or maybe not.  But I will have tried every day, and it is because of the selflessness of people like you.


Terry Woodson


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