We should all be inspired by the gift that is Trevor Hutchins
Ledyard — The words of Cicero: "Non nobis solum nati sumus."
That means "not for ourselves are we alone born."
Really, though, not everybody is born with a heart wired for helping others first. It is a gift to create joy. A calling.
And this is what makes Trevor Hutchins so boundlessly inspiring. He is 18-years old, the textbook age of self-indulgence, a time of sighs, eye rolls and knowing everything about everything.
Instead, Hutchins, a recent graduate of Ledyard High, a strapping, 6-foot-5 soccer player and shot blocker, has exercised his option within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to embark on a two-year mission of service.
Trevor Hutchins, whose age belies his deeper sense of obligation to things greater than his own self-interest, leaves Tuesday for El Salvador.
"I've thought about it a lot," Hutchins was saying Monday afternoon, the day before his life will change forever. "It's not an easy decision. There are negatives, like leaving the people I've known my whole life, knowing there won't be a lot of communication. But there are so many positives."
To reiterate: Hutchins' church does not require a mission. It is optional. He could be a college athlete somewhere right now. Somewhere, though, there must be some room for his family, educational background and deep faith to take a bow. Trevor Hutchins has been taught well. He's absorbed the lessons. Now he becomes the beacon.
Hutchins is the sixth of nine children. Four of his five older siblings have completed missions. This is a family who understands that we all need each other here on the mortal soil more than we're willing to admit. And they've personified the concept.
"Trevor invited me to listen to him speak to his congregation (Sunday)," Ledyard assistant principal/athletic director Jim Buonocore said. "He was so articulate, so passionate and so grateful. Just a phenomenal human being. And one of our best three-sport athletes ... ever."
Hutchins on his decision: "I have the ability to help other people. Not everyone has the ability to do that. But I do. I understand that at my age, I don't need to have everything figured out. So this gives me extra time to mature."
Perhaps some of you just read that line and spit out your coffee. This kid needs extra time to mature? Au contraire. He could be teaching maturity lessons to folks considerably older.
"A lot of it comes from my dad (Richard)," Hutchins said. "He's a pretty prominent member of our church. He's in charge of several church buildings in southeastern Connecticut. I know he does a lot to help other people. I've gone along with him."
Hutchins said his dad's local missions are about everything from service projects to help with personal matters.
"It makes me happy to see others happy," Trevor Hutchins said.
Hutchins' life is a monument to the inevitability of change. It's non-negotiable. Everything changes. People change. So does their thinking, attitudes, circumstances and outlooks. Imagine: A year ago at this time, Trevor Hutchins went to school every day mostly trying to figure out how to score a goal for Bill Glenney's soccer team.
Now he's headed to El Salvador for community service and door to door propheting.
Even Hutchins chuckled at thinking about his life a year ago.
"I always knew I wanted to do this between high school and college," he said, "but yeah, a year ago, maybe I was thinking about it a little, but surely not as much as when it started getting closer."
Hutchins shows us all that it's never too late to make a change. If you've been thinking about helping others more lately, maybe this is the right time. And you needn't go to El Salvador. There's probably something right in your town that could benefit from your time and care.
We won't be hearing from him much in the next two years. He'll be doing God's work. Godspeed to Trevor Hutchins, who in his 18 short years, has already inspired us to be better and do better.
This is the opinion of Day sports columnist Mike DiMauro