By Laela Warnecke
Connie Mackintosh plopped her 3-year-old son at the kitchen table, placing a solitary marshmallow before him. He gazed up at her with curious eyes and began to motion towards the treat. Gently hindering his reach, Connie dropped down to his eye level and explained the rules of the game.
In a few moments, she would leave the room. There were two options. He could eat the marshmallow as soon as she left. Or, he could wait one minute for her return. If he was able to wait, she would reward him with an additional marshmallow treat.
Connie had heard about the test from a friend; giving it a go couldn’t hurt. Apparently, more than 95 percent of the children gulped down the first marshmallow. At that age, most cannot fathom the idea of long-term satisfaction.
One minute came and went. To Connie’s surprise, her son stood strong and waited it out to double his reward. He accomplished the impossible.
Accomplishment itself can be tough to measure. But for Timothy Mackintosh, average is never enough. There is always more to be done and something bigger to strive for.
As a 3-year-old, Mackintosh was able to resist temptation in order to strive for better long-term gains. Seventeen years have passed, and this characteristic still holds true.
Friends describe the sophomore business major as a young man with “an infectious personality” and “an unmatched desire to succeed in the impossible.” Last semester it was surviving on nothing more than juice for 30 days, a feat which proved successful.
Today, he’s working to start his own business through a series of adventures and envoys sparked two months ago with a one dollar bill in aisle five of Hannaford.
Mackintosh, a part-time maintenance worker at the store, was sweeping when he discovered the wayward Washington.
“At first, I was like, ‘sweet, I’m totally buying a candy bar during my lunch break.’ But then as I was sweeping, I thought more about it and decided this happened for a reason. I mean it’s not every day you sweep up a dollar.”
Pennies and nickels, yes. But never dollars.
Mackintosh remembered Kyle MacDonald, the Canadian blogger who bartered his way from one single red paperclip to a two-story farmhouse in a year. Like every other outlandish idea before this one, Mackintosh saw the opportunity as test – a test proctored by “The Big Guy,” “The Man Upstairs.” You know…God.
Mackintosh was raised Christian, and he believes he was put on this earth for a specific purpose. “For me, everything is a test of my abilities. God has a plan for me, and I’m not about to let Him down.”
Mark Mackintosh, Timothy’s father, saw special gifts in his son early on. “Timothy continually chooses to walk the path he knows to be right,” Mark offered. “He uses the gifts he’s been given in the right way.”
These gifts allow him to lead in an unmatched way.
“He makes people do things,” said one of Mackintosh’s closest friends who chose to be anonymous. “It’s his voice and the way he talks. He’s very confident, and people listen.”
His baritone voice, jet-black beard, attentive gaze, and professional wardrobe mesh perfectly. People take him seriously and, more importantly, are drawn to him.
Monday through Friday he can be found in the upstairs lounge of the Campus Center. It’s not unusual to find him at a small table surrounded by an eclectic group of friends. These include members of Castleton’s Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, a group where Mackintosh serves as treasurer, DJs for WIUV, the station where’s he’s known as DJ Tiny Tim, or members of the Business Club, a club where Mackintosh is…need I say it?..president.
He can be found taking part in any and every event. Unless, of course, he is carrying out his duties as Castleton’s head lifeguard.
“I want to do all I can now to become the man God wants me to be tomorrow,” Mackintosh confessed. “I’m doing that by taking advantage of every opportunity sent my way. Sure, I could party and waste these years away. But where’s the gain in that?”
Some people gobble up the first marshmallow set before them without considering better options. Others, like Mackintosh, are strong enough to wait and prepare for something more.