When did you know that mentoring would be part of your life?


As a young man leaving home for the first time in August 1975 to attend college, I knew mentoring youth eventually would be a part of life.

My young cousins stood on our front porch watching me leave. They admired me and at the same time were sad I was going away from them.  I was their older cousin and a big brother figure.

Venturing out in the world to this unknown place called Minnesota I remembered the overwhelming emotions of sadness, excitement and guilt of leaving my young cousins.  This was the first time in my life I truly felt vulnerable.

Cameron Conway, author of Caged: Memoir of a Cage-Fighting Poet said it best!

“Ultimate vulnerability. That’s manly.”

I remember those  feelings that day in 1975.  I know those feelings were instrumental in helping me mature. They also laid the foundation for me to realize my life’s purpose:

Guiding young men as they transition into manhood by helping them emotionally identify with all aspects of themselves.

Whatever path you walk I’m sure you’ve mentored someone whose life is forever enhanced!

How do you feel about being a mentor and transforming even one small corner of our world?

I’d love to hear about it!

Are we ultimately in the relationship building business?

BillRoddy_ManhoodFTHood_FBArt_61913_43This evening I had an interesting conversation with a young man I’ve been mentoring for many years. He’s had a series of challenges in life like most of us.

Today was something special.  He’s learning an important aspect of life; how to establish long lasting relationships in his personal and business life!

“Mr. Roddy, I’m starting to realize you eventually have to make a living by doing things you love and focus on building loving relationships with your family.”

I listened to him share his thoughts, I wanted to jump up and down and give him several ‘high fives.’ I reminded calm and asked him a few more questions and listen.

“Bob, how did you come to these conclusions?”

“Mr. Roddy, I’ve been watching Mrs. Roddy and you for twelve years. It’s starting to make sense to me.  Most of my struggles in my relationship with my fiancée are results of my perceptions of what I thought a man should be.

“What made you reconsider your approach?”  “I remembered the conversations we had when I was young. “You always shared with me that when our thoughts about life cause us pain they are signals for us to look within so that we can examine our thoughts, behavior and actions towards others.”

“What has cause you pain in your relationship with your fiancée?”  “I was valuing things and money more than relationships.”


Wouldn’t all of us love to grow by learning the art of establishing long-lasting relationships?

Don’t you feel knowing that when relationships are established the sky is the unlimited in our personal lives and in business?

What will we value when it’s our time to leave this earthly body?

Would it be things we own, our net worth, names on buildings, or would it be the relationship we’ve established with love ones?”




“Gone But not Forgotten”


So many thoughts have surfaced since writing my memoir, Manhood From the Hood. I received this thoughtful letter from Darzel Price.  He is the older brother of Keith “Magnetic” Price.  Keith was on our basketball team at Crane High School in the 70’s.  What is the moral of Darzel sharing his feelings?  Is it the power of one brother’s love for his sibling? Is it a testament of what most important in life? Every Friday, I will share my thoughts on my friends no longer alive but continue live in my heart.

My Brother

Keith Byrod Price

Not a day goes by that I don’t think about my late brother Keith Byrod Price.  He passed away on Easter Sunday, 2000. He would have turned 53 on June 17, 2011 had he lived. That day, more than any other time of the year, is tough for me. To lose a brother with so much unfulfilled and unlimited potential can be mind boggling and devastating. Because of God’s grace and mercy, I’m able to endure and reflect upon the memorable times that we had in Rockwell Gardens, Grant Elementary School, Crane High School, and Southern Illinois University.

I reflect on the competitive games we had on the fields of baseball, football and the basketball courts. Though we were siblings, we didn’t allow our bloodline to impede our desire to win. I remember the hot summer nights when we raced to the Good Humor truck, the times that we went to Vienna’s to purchase their well known hotdogs and fries. We listened to Herb Kent, a famous Chicago Disk Jockey in the 60’s and 70’s, and tried to imitate a member of the Temptations, had spirited but non-violent conversations that we had about religion, girls and politics. We would go to Maxwell Street on Saturday’s and some Sunday’s to shop at Smokey Joe’s and Kelly’s sporting goods.

We had many fights in Rockwell Gardens. Keith was not one to back down from anyone. I joked with him years later, that he should never make a conscious effort to fight anyone that I couldn’t whip. Looking back, he would always fight these collard green eating and hot water cornbread fed guys who had the combined strength of Hercules and Samson.

I also remember the times that we would walk to the Chicago Stadium and keep the money that my mother gave us for bus fair. This was used for programs, banners, hotdogs and popcorn.  These are just a few of the memories that I cherish of my late brother. He left us too soon, but I thank God for his mercy and his unconditional love that allows me to stand.

Stay Encouraged,

Elder Darzel J. Price Sr.