Mentored Brian Williams?
Williams is anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly
I signed up for an English literature course taught
by a teacher named Bob Kitzin, and he turned me around.
And I think in me he recognized a case where we had
a young man who could go either way. And if you had
told me a year prior, when I was working out with the
football team and going out late at night to any number
of dives along the Jersey shore, that this guy would
have me reading philosophyEmmanuel Kant and Machiavelliand
reading great pieces of work, I wouldn't have believed
He employed the technique used by all of our great teachers.
He used the germ of an idea. The excitement of learning.
Personal betterment, in the right vehicle. He saw someone
I guess with willingness - at that point he couldn't
have seen too much talent or intellect, I assure you
- but he taught it in such a way, with such enthusiasm,
excitement. And, of course, he took the time to care
enough to take me on as a project.
laid down that foundation in my life, and I think were
it not for him, I wouldn't have become a serious thinker
* * *
I'm surprised in our society, which is so much about
instant gratification, that more people haven't discovered
that mentoring is where to find that. Because when you
look at the excitement in a young person's eyes about
a thought just imparted or a passion just passed on,
when you're brimming with enthusiasm for a topic, and
you get a young convert, you know, game over. Victory.