Whenever I hear the sentence in the subject line, I always think of that scene in the pilot to Knight Rider, where the dying millionaire Wilton Knight is telling Michael Knight that “one man can make a difference”, in an effort to convince him to go out and be this one-man crimefighter and all. Yes, I know… invoking Knight Rider is once again branding me as an ubergeek. Bear with me… there’s a point to all this.
I had a fairly interesting conversation with my mom and aunt yesterday that invoked that.
We were discussing this one friend of mine from way back in grade school (who I am keeping anonymous for the time being), and Mom brought up this one time between our sophomore and junior years of high school, when this friend’s mom came over to our house for some reason or another. While she was here, this friend’s mom thanked my mom for letting me be her son’s friend.
You see, during this time, said friend had friends who had… well, less than stellar reputations. Some of them did drugs, and some probably did even worse things. Anyway, while I was hanging around my friend, for the most part I didn’t want to take part in such activities. So, when they would call and ask my friend if he wanted to do stuff… I’d be around, and my friend knew I wouldn’t go for such things. So, my friend would beg off. His mom credits that to keeping him on the straight and narrow.
Where are some of those people now? I wouldn’t know… some of the worst ones fell by the wayside and I never heard of them after high school. Where is my friend? He’s graduated college, and has a very good job, plus good aspirations for his future.
Did I truly keep him on the straight and narrow? I don’t know, myself. The only person who could tell you for certain is my friend himself. But his mother seemed to think so, and really, who am I to argue? She’d know better than I.
So, that’s one thing I can say, even in days like we all have where we wonder what the point of it all is. I’m not like Jimmy Stewart in It’s a Wonderful Life. I don’t think life would have been better without me. From what I have been told, I guess what Wilton Knight said was true: one man can (and did) make a difference.