By Jim Phillips, Senior Editor
The path to success is beset with many obstacles.
And along the way, without the occasional swaying open of the door to opportunity, some may never find it.
You need perseverance, and heart, And also ,a little visit from Lady Luck now and then also helps. The hand of fortune is not always blind, and it can be guided by those who have an eye for achievement in others. This is what being a ‘shepherd in success’ is.
No matter what profession you choose to endeavor, there is no doubt that each and everyone of can remember a time that a door has been opened up to us that perhaps didn’t have to be, but the results proved out to be fortuitous. Unfortunately, the opposite is also true. There are many, many stories of people in the wrestling business being held back or squashed by someone in a position of power. This may be because of ill will, or simply that they are worried about the potential that the up and comer may posses. Whichever the case, in this journalist’s opinion it’s bad form, and shows a shortsightedness to the future. No matter what, if you are true to your profession, then you want to see it succeed and grow, even if that means giving to that advancement, despite whether or not it is the direction you approve of.
Being a shepherd isn’t just about handing out opportunity, but also the process of mentorship, and guidance so that the youth has a better idea of how to get where they are striving to be in their careers. Sitting and bitching about the new product, or it’s performers,from a distance is no way to help ensure that the old values are kept alive. When you give freely of yourself with no expectation of anything in return, it makes those returns so much sweeter when they happen, and you see the advice given put to success. Part of the joy of teaching anyone is seeing that achievement and knowing that you had a hand in it’s foundation.
There will always be those few who stand to the side with arms-crossed, and face-grimaced in a curmudgeonly laden psyche that the younger generation isn’t worth their time. When in fact it is quite the opposite.
While the generational gap may be wider than ever, with all the technological advancements over the last thirty years, it can be bridged if we chose it to. While as a true heel, I may laugh at your folly, I will offer a hand for you, if you choose to get back to your feet.
There are those out there that also believe in this idea of giving back or paying it forward. I have seen them in the independent promotions in my travels all over this country.
People like Al Snow, Rip Rogers, Gangrel… and that’s just to name a few. From the big stage of NXT, all the way to the organizations like Ohio Valley Wrestling (who have made significant strides to offer a variety of teaching platforms at their wrestling school), there are people and places out there that are doing it right, and I applaud them for that. When the leadership gets it, the rest all falls into place.
While it may not be directly linked in context, it reminds me of a poster I saw in an office many years ago. It showed two scenarios, one with a man being carried across a raging river while sitting and pointing, and it read “Boss”. The picture below it showed the same scene with a man out in front, chest deep in the water pointing and is said “Leader”. We should all strive to not only be a leader, but teach that ideal to the ones who come after us.
As always, I want to thank you for taking the time to sit with me for a few moments, as I share my thoughts.
I hope you not only enjoy these JP Shorts, but also take a little something away from them. Always try to help someone if you can, because you never know when you too, may need that helping hand.
Peace, Bruthas and Sistas.