Tuesday, May 21, 2013


So that I can protect the innocent, I will share a story and while it may appear to be a bit vague, the story has power to it. (And btw, this is not about me; it is a true story, however.)

There was a young artist who came from a good family. His father worked with him at an early age, but as the boy reached his teens, he was in the school system and went through years of art teachers, some well intentioned, others not. Over a period of four years, the boy went to class daily and over time, his confidence slipped.

One teacher felt he was not that talented; next year's teacher thought he had talent, but not the special magic. His next art teacher was a bitter ex-artist who treated the entire class poorly. Then he had a well-intentioned teacher who at first dismissed him, but later saw something in him. However, due to the teacher's lack of skills, nothing came of it. Throughout the years, various students were held up as having great talent, but never this boy.

This boy reached his college years confused and afraid. He loved being an artist and dreamt of it but simply had no foundation as to whether or not he had what it took. That made him tentative and at times difficult to be around. Then he had his first year of college art. The professor in his class was well, practically infamous for being a jerk.

This professor had a poor reputation as a surly, sarcastic guy who was usually not liked by students and was a source of complaints from parents. But for some reason, this professor saw something special in this boymaybe it was his attitude or his doggedness or maybe it was his energy. For the entire semester this professor showed his sincere belief in the boy and minor miracles happened. The boy excelled; he became the special artist in the class. Sure, this was only his first year of college, but for the first time, he believed in himself because someone, a stranger (not his friends or parents, because their positive words didn't count), showed belief in him.

I won't share the end of the story because it doesn't matter. The power to this is that believing in someone can make all the difference. And by the way, this professor had a couple other students in that class that he supported, but overall, he was still the jerk that others had called him.

But for that one boy, that professor showed belief. And that was enough to change everything.

Barry LaBov
LABOV Marketing Communications and Training

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