Think back to all the people who were in your life nine years ago. Some, you’re still in touch with. But of those who you lost contact with, what do you remember about them? Their faces? Their names? How much of the conversations could you recount?
Mishael came across across a 19 year old when he was out shopping last week, who introduced himself straight away. “Hey! I’m Shimon! Remember me? You were my Kav L’Noar mentor!”
Mishael thought back to the short, angry 10 year old he’d worked with back in 2010. Of course he remembered. He remembered a boy struggling with too many conflicts at home and at school, a boy who had trouble written all over him. He remembered how he’d tried to help, but that Shimon just hadn’t been ready to connect. He remembered that they’d played soccer together, and he’d thought to himself in frustration, what difference would running around with a ball together make for a kid whose life was falling apart?
But even as these memories flooded back, Shimon was still talking. “Do you remember how we took those walks together back from the park after our soccer games? Do you remember that time when we got ice cream because it had been a really bad day at school? Do you remember what you told me when we finished the mentoring?”
Mishael realized that even though it didn’t look like it, Shimon had absorbed everything. Their connection had mattered to him. It was something that he had needed, and it had helped.
Today, Shimon is getting ready for the army. His siblings are scattered all over the country, and he is the one who makes the effort to get everyone together a few times a year. He no longer has trouble written all over him.
Mishael says that this must be all credit to Shimon’s strength of character, determination, and good people who helped him along the way. But he allows himself to feel proud about those few precious months nine years ago when he was the person who made the difference.