How will Your Giving Impact Someone’s Life?

In a land far away… a long, long, long time ago – there was a gangly kid kicking around the halls of a city school when he heard a voice from the stern-faced math teacher, “Hey Hahn, are you going to run?”

The long-haired goofy looking kid peered up through his hair, “Ah, yeah, sure…when’s practice?”

And thus began my lifelong love of running, a passion that has included a lifetime of memories.

Robert Kent, math teacher at Lincoln Jr. High School in Pontiac, Michigan was a memorable man in my life, and it wasn’t because he was an excellent mathematician.   It was because he spent his own time with my brother and me and “schooled us” in the art of running track and cross country.   He opened our eyes to a world of competitive running that we never knew existed.

Bob Kent’s unselfishness allowed two kids from the little industrial town of Pontiac to experience Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) sanctioned track meets across our region.  I remember the first time running under the lights at a large AAU meet – the stands were packed and looking at the other runners I thought, what am I doing here?  These guys are real runners; I’m just a kid from Pontiac.  I walked away with two trophies that day.   It was the proudest day of my young life.

Mr. Kent’s generosity made it possible for me to attend a week-long cross country camp where I experienced some of the most incredible training in my life.   When Mr. Kent returned from the 1972 Munich Olympics, he did so with a box of kangaroo-skin Addidis running shoes for an entire team of inner city kids.

So what’s my point and what is this story doing in a business blog?

Life is more than your business, your blog, your followers, your advancements, and your recognition.

A real rewarding life is about giving back – and I’m not just talking about your money.   That’s far too easy for many people.  Give of your time and give of your talents and experience.  Give and see how the simple gift of your time makes a real difference.

Give…as it has been given to you.


Leave a comment


  1. Alan, what a great tribute! I can recall several teachers in junior high and high school that shaped my life. One individual really can make a difference. Thanks for sharing. – Jay

  2. Eric Olson

     /  March 11, 2013

    Very powerful Alan, thanks for giving of your time.

  3. Charlie Deacon

     /  March 11, 2013

    Alan, thanks for sharing. I recall that even back then you had great admiration for Mr. Kent. It is wonderful that it continues today. Charlie.


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