I have learned to appreciate how blessed I have been by people in my life who have taken the time and concern to enrich my life. It started with big brothers, who never treated me like a little kid, but rather like a small person and taught me how to recognize a good and godly man. There was the neighborhood branch librarian who first steered me to interesting books, and later gave me my first job, and took me to visit her Episcopalian church one Whitsunday, to "see us at our most peculiar". She was the one who recommended freighter travel when Dad and I took the trip on which I met my husband, and she loved to talk about her favorite interesting passages of Scripture. There was the associate pastor at Calvary when I first came to San Bernardino, who not only mentored me but had mentored my father and introduced him to my mother. I could go on with stories of people who shaped my life, people whom I was priviledged to mentor, and people I meet with in mutual mentoring relationships.
But there have been people who could have mentored me, who could have helped me develop gifts and talents but were unwilling to share. God does not intend for us to hoard our gifts, to look good by jealously suppressing or discouraging others. We stand taller when we lift each other up, and grow together in wisdom, spiritual stature, and in favor with God and man.