This is a column in which I complain and in which I celebrate – in which I express my discontent and in which I commend the effort and conduct which makes me smile and makes me feel good about people.
Let's get going here – on something that mildly infuriates me – and that is people who won’t pick up the phone and make a call, or write a letter of recommendation, or, in our electronic age, send along an email, in support of someone and to help that someone out.
Really – sometimes it can send me skyward – and other times it can merely irk me.
The funny thing about some of these people who won’t make the individual and the one-on-one effort is that they might often be very public and visible and give a lot of themselves to broad-ranging efforts and initiatives.
Yes, some of these people may roll up their sleeves and get behind the big efforts – but to put themselves out for one person, to make a call or recommend someone, then they shirk and shrink, and can’t answer the bell.
What is often behind people who don’t make the call and write or send the note is that they lack gumption, confidence, and chutzpah – and there is no way they are going to put themselves in even a smidgen of discomfort, disquiet, or unease to help someone out.
These people need the crowd with them. They can’t do anything unless they have the crowd with them.
They are also often overly consumed with what other people think of them.
Now, this is all bad enough. There are other people, though, who won’t help you out because they just don’t consider it worth their while. Not good.
Others – and this is the sentiment that can send me skyward – are those total (expletive) who are just too important and have too much going on to help out. They are "above" helping you out.
I have faltered here and there – but I dare say, well I hope, that I have done a decent job helping when called upon to help.
I hope I have taken the initiative to help.
I have been fortunate in that many, many people have assisted and supported me.
So, now, after complaining and describing the nature of people who drop the ball, intentionally – I give a call out to, and hold up as examples of, a couple guys in Easton who are all about the other way – and are standout and who have a track record of picking up the phone that is long and full of the right virtue.
Now, I am only giving a call out to two people here – two among the many who have done a tremendous amount for me, and a tremendous amount for many others.
These two are exemplars of what is good.
I’m talking about Brad Tighe and Frank Veale.
I'll start with Brad. Brad graduated from in 1975. He was a standout athlete at OA, and is in the OAHS Athletic Hall of Fame.
Brad has been close to our family forever – and has done a lot for our family. He played football for my dad at OA, and he and my brother are friends. Brad was a pallbearer at my dad’s funeral.
Brad and his wife, Jeannette (OA ’75), high school sweethearts, brought up four children, all top-notch citizens and talented athletes at OA. All had standout athletic careers in college.
Brad Tighe has built a successful career in commercial real estate. Through business and life in general, he has also built a rolodex, and personal and professional network that, combined, is mountainous – and which includes people established across many sectors of society.
Brad Tighe never turns down a request to put his personal and professional network to use for people. He picks up the phone, always. If he can help you out, then he helps you out.
Brad makes the call – and he makes the recommendation. He always takes the meeting.
Great guy, Brad.
Frank Veale is an environmental attorney who works internationally. He is also a professor at the College of the Holy Cross and Massachusetts Maritime Academy.
Frank holds a bachelor’s degree from Fordham University, a master’s degree from Harvard University, and earned his law degree at Suffolk University.
Frank and his wife, Mary Beth, a nurse, have brought up three super kids, all young adults and accomplished and doing well. The Veale children grew up in Easton, and went to Catholic high school and Catholic colleges.
Frank Veale makes the call, he donates his legal counsel to those who can’t afford it, and he advocates in person for those who can use his help. Frank serves on various boards – and he looks for ways, always, to give back.
Frank has helped me over and over again.
Frank has helped many people over and over again.
Great guy, Frank.
You wonder what inspires and moves people to be good, to be caring, and to day in and day out do what they can to improve our world, make it more livable, and make it nicer.
It shouldn’t surprise anyone that both Brad and Frank benefitted from hardworking, considerate, and morally sound parents who set the right example.
You can never substitute for the value of a good upbringing
I hope this column, in whatever way, conveys the inestimable virtue of being considerate of one another – and of giving to one another.
We don’t have to slay dragons and build skyscrapers and accumulate fortunes and achieve sainthood to make the world happier and more pleasant – although that can all help.
No – to move the needle just a bit in the right direction, perhaps we just need to pick up the phone.
Perhaps we just need to make the call.