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Fork In the Road (Apr 2010)


Why are you where you are today? You, like me, most likely had a few key people who forced you to decide that path in life.


The person who threw that railroad switch for me is George Walker. I mention his name in loving memory. He has since passed many years ago. One day while sweating a pipe in a flea ridden basement he asked me that watershed question, ‘So what are you going to be?’ No, this was not a career decision of being a plumber, like him, or a fireman - it was a question of character.


Bro. Walker was a member of my parent’s congregation, known for his rough upbringing and fame in the ‘streets’. He was not a religious leader, just a man who decided to take care of his family through honest labor and dedicated faith. He never told me all the lowest points reached in his life, but he obviously noticed me slowly changing since working with him since junior high school.


I do know the negative high school influences were attractive to me and therefore showing in my responses and approaches to issues in life. ‘So what are you going to be’? I stopped, and thought, but was at a loss for words. Do I want to be George Walker who commanded respect in the streets by through cunning and guile? Or, do I want to be Bro. Walker works in all types of conditions to provide for his family and attends service every Sunday? Maybe he did not expect me to give him an answer.


As mentoring professionals most times our ‘So what are you going to be?’ inquisitive opine is laden with college selection, resume referral and head hunter leads. I believe this question should permeate all of the mentee life’s elements. For example, ‘Are you going to be a mentor’? ‘Are you going to be a block captain’? Are you going to be active in your children school’s PTA’?


Let us develop people instead of employees and business owners.



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Email: DiscoverE@pspe-philly.org

Website: http://www.pspe-philly.org/k-12/k-12.html


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