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Family Ties

Published: February 25, 2009

Recently I revised several drafts of a paper that my brother was working on for a college writing course. We went through the process paragraph by paragraph: He did the writing, I did the revising.

I’ve had years of practice writing papers of varied length and on assorted subjects, so the task, in my mind, was not daunting. However, my brother, 10 years my junior, viewed the assignment as a mountain of which he could not see the peak, nor imagine arriving on top! I knew he could use my help, and it would give us a chance to spend time together, mutually beneficial! When I accepted his request of assistance, his shoulders relaxed, I saw a smile, and the tension subsided. He didn’t require the amount of help I was prepared to give, but just having me sit next to him and support him seemed to lend self-confidence and spirit to his ability.

I received the final draft for revision with a note attached stating that he could not have accomplished what he’d done without me. He went on to write that it might not have been a “big deal” or challenge for me, but for him it was huge. I informed him that I did not deserve the credit, as he was the author. I sat next to him and fine-tuned a few spelling and grammatical errors, and I was happy to have the opportunity to spend time with him.

Have you ever done something for someone that you didn’t think was a big deal, but it meant the world to them?

Have you tutored or mentored anyone and felt your reward in watching their success?

If you had a project you needed help completing, do you have a special friend or relative you would turn to for support?

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