Reaching the Rim

When the announcement arrived that my great-nephew was graduating high school, I began to wonder what book he would most enjoy and benefit by reading. He is a “great” nephew—that is not just about relationship, but description. Finally, someone in my family has grown a kid who plays basketball. He has been dunking since the 8th grade. My own experience of coming from a lifetime of not being first choice for a pickup basketball team, my response is, GREAT! Definite NBA material.

I was nudged to buy Robert Benson’s The Echo Within some years ago. I was to buy ten copies to give to those whom I would be instructed. The next day, we visited a book store 100 miles from home. The book was on sale which was financially convenient. I’m down to two copies, so I’m careful whose name I hear.

Robert Benson says,

I am not a big talker on airplanes. If you talk too much, you have a hard time keeping your teeth clenched in fear. I mostly scribble in my sketchbook while I am hurtling through the air in a huge machine that has no business being this far off the ground. The man (next to me) made a couple of attempts to talk to me, but I was up to the “Just as the time came for us to stand in the aisle and wait for us to get off the plane, he asked me a question. He cleverly deduced this was his last chance to make me make conversation.

‘What do you do?’

Something about my beard and my ponytail, my eyeglasses in a style most commonly associated with folks who led the Russian Revolution, my lack of socks with my loafers even though January had just begun, the bush jacket, the purse, and the sketchbook had suggested to him that perhaps I was not a businessman.

“I am a writer,” I said.

He got this grin on his face. ‘I knew you were a something,’ he said triumphantly.”*

I have a long history of listening to sermons and speeches. The best graduation speeches conclude: Grow up to be a something. Accomplish something. Be known as the person who is a somebody because you make others feel like a somebody and because you resource them and encourage them to accomplish something.

You got this, Connor

©2021 D. Dean Benton

  • The Echo Within, Robert Benson, ©2009, (WaterBrook Press) pages 159-160.

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