His name was Fleming and he was a poor Scottish farmer. One day, he heard a cry for help coming from a nearby bog. He dropped his tools and ran to the bog. There, mired to his waist in black muck, was a terrified boy, screaming and struggling to free himself. Farmer Fleming saved the lad from what could have been a slow and terrifying death.
The next day, a fancy carriage pulled up to the farmer’s sparse surroundings. An elegantly dressed nobleman stepped out and introduced himself as the father of the boy. “I want to repay you,” he said. “You saved my son’s life.”
“I can’t accept payment for what I did,” the farmer replied, waving off the offer.
At that moment, the farmer’s own son came to the door of the family hovel. “Is that your son?” the nobleman asked. “Yes,” the farmer replied proudly.
“I’ll make you a deal. Let me take him and give him a good education. If the lad is anything like his father, he’ll grow to be a fine man.” And he did.
In time, Farmer Fleming’s son graduated from St. Mary’s Hospital Medical School in London. He went on to become known throughout the world as Sir Alexander Fleming, the discoverer of penicillin.
Years later, the nobleman’s son was stricken with pneumonia. What saved him? Penicillin.
The name of the nobleman? Lord Randolph Churchill. His son’s name? Sir Winston Churchill.
What goes around comes around…
Nearly twenty years ago, I mentored a young man who rose quickly in the ranks and went on to run a very successful business in my industry. Several years ago, my son went to work for him. At a party at his house, my son met his son. One day, I’d like to believe, my son will mentor him.