I had the fantastic opportunity to take two of my junior boys basketball players to watch a university basketball game. It gave the boys an opportunity to see high-level basketball and something to aspire to. It also allowed us to get to know each other better.
The real magic followed the game. These two boys were taking city transit home (regardless of how comfortable, or perhaps more accurately uncomfortable I was with this). I told them that I wasn’t going to leave until I knew they were on the bus and en route home. They both proceeded to tell me that they do this all the time, they’re grown adults (they’re 13) and don’t need me to wait with them.
Regardless of their need or approval of my sticking by their side, I did. Once we found the proper bus stop and bus we waited together for it to arrive. When a bus arrived (a different one than they had originally planned on taking) they confirmed the bus would take them where it needed to. They came off the bus to tell me that they had the right bus and were good to go. One boy, had said, “Just yell at him and tell him we are good” where the second boy replied, “No, we need to go and thank him properly”. They came over, and like the grown men they are, shook my hand to say thank you for the evening.
No matter how old or young a person is, whether they think they need you or not, compassion goes a long way. These boys recognized that I care and were appreciative of this. This experience was heart-warming and contributes to the love I have for my job.