Big Brother rewards can come slowly

Not all Big Brother-Little Brother matches appear successful on the surface. Sometimes the value of a relationship emerges long after the fact.

To illustrate, John Pearson, the executive director of the Big Brother Association of Greater Boston, relates this story of a man who, after two good Big Brother experiences, figured it might be time to "retire."

"Bob always wanted to work with younger kids because he thought he could be a bigger influence in their lives. The director of one of our programs, however, called him up and said, 'I've got just the kid for you.' Bob was hesitant because the boy was 13, but the director figured Bob's experience as a Big Brother would really help this kid, who was real tough.

"Bob saw him for about 13 months and never felt he made a connection. They never seemed to hit it off and eventually they stopped seeing each other.

"Six or seven years later Bob got an invitation to this young man's wedding. It came as a real surprise since he hadn't heard from this kid. But Bob decided to go and was treated as an honored guest. The young man still had trouble communicating, but the bride came up to Bob and said when she and the groom had been building their relationship, he constantly talked about this guy named 'Bob' who had influenced his life and taught him how to make important decisions. They were glad to have him at the wedding, so they could thank him."

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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