Stand on my shoulders and reach

„Outside, we stand in the parking lot and look at the stars. I feel such overwhelming love, and gratitude, for Gil. I thank him for all he’s done, and he tells me I never need to thank him again. Then he gives a speech.

 

Gil, who learned English from newspapers and baseball games, delivers a flowing, lilting, poetic monologue, right outside Joe’s, and one of the great regrets of my life is that I don’t have a tape recorder with me. Still, I remember it nearly word for word.

Andre, I won’t ever try to change you, because I’ve never tried to change anybody. If I could change somebody, I’d change myself. But I know I can give you structure and a blueprint to achieve what you want.

There’s a difference between a plow horse and a racehorse. You don’t treat them the same. You hear all this talk about treating people equally, and I’m not sure equal means the same. As far as I’m concerned, you’re a racehorse, and I’ll always treat you accordingly. I’ll be firm, but fair. I’ll lead, never push. I’m not one of those people who expresses or articulates feelings very well, but from now on, just know this: It’s on, man. It is on. You know what I’m saying? We’re in a fight, and you can count on me until the last man is standing. Somewhere up there is a star with your name on it. I might not be able to help you find it, but I’ve got pretty strong shoulders, and you can stand on my shoulders while you’re looking for that star. You hear? For as long as you want. Stand on my shoulders and reach, man. Reach.”

 

Open, an autobiography of Andre Agassi

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