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You have the power to build value unto others. I first read those words back in high school. They were written to me on a progress report. Although they didn’t really sink in back then, they made me feel important. When my teenage years gave way to more adult things, mainly motherhood, those words began to mean something more and have stayed with me throughout my life.

You have the power to build value unto others. The phrase screamed through me when I saw the news. I was standing in line to board a plane and on checking my phone one last time I read that the man who had written those very important words to me so long ago had just passed away.

You have the power to build value unto others. It played through my mind like a record skipping as images of a short, smiling, hooded sweatshirt and Chuck Taylor high top wearing, bearded, goofy guy flashed before me. This man was the one who’d had the power to build value unto others, it was his secret weapon, his superpower. This man was a beloved high school teacher, one of my high school teachers.

You have the power to build value unto others. Did he see something in me back then that lead him to write that? Maybe he wrote the same thing to all of his students. If so, I hope they took it to heart just as I did. It’s been 30 years and I still have that progress report stashed away. It’s wrinkled and aged just as I am… yet the words ring true, just as I do.

You have the power to build value unto others.

~Rest in peace Daniel Mortlock~

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