Over the years, I have been the fortunate beneficiary of deep wisdom imparted and modeled by exemplary mentors, especially those on the Hyde Board of Governors, my bosses. One of those was Bill Fleming who served for nearly 20 years in the 1970s and 80s.
Several years ago, Bill was dying of cancer and I went to visit him during his final days. He had asked to see me, noting that he had something he wanted to give me. The “something” turned out to be the various books I had given him over the years. He loved books and he was giving back those he had received, re-inscribing them to the original givers. (Needless to say, I was blown away by the very idea, let alone the actual follow-thru.)
At one point, Bill got right to the point and said to me, “Malcolm, I’ve learned two things in life. First: You can’t hit people. Second: You can’t have it both ways.”
While I pondered, he went on to explain: “Most folks grasp the first point fairly early in life. But some people live their whole lives and never get the second.” I thought, Boy… Ain’t that the truth?!?
Like the song says, “It’s the truth, it’s actual.”
The Fleming Award for Exemplary Personal Growth is given each year at Hyde Commencements in Bath and Woodstock.
Onward, Malcolm Gauld