Tuesday, July 1, 2014

lucky charm #13: become a mentor


mentor

noun - an experienced and trusted adviser

verb - advise or train

mentor -- in greek mythology, a friend of odysseus and tutor of his son telemachus - who was entrusted to guide and care for him while odysseus went off to fight the trojan war.

the old african proverb that "it takes a village to raise a child" is absolutely true.  children no matter what race, age, socio-economic background, or educational level need adults to care about their welfare and well-being; to show them how to grow into responsible and caring adults.  children need heroes, role models, and mentors.  however, there are distinct differences among the three.  a hero is someone whose achievements we admire.  a role model is someone whose behaviors, beliefs, and attitudes we try to emulate.  a mentor is someone whose beliefs, behaviors and attitudes we want to mimic and someone who helps build character, gives wise counsel, is a confidant - a trusted friend. 

i remember growing up that i had such people in my life.  adults who showed they cared about me and my brothers and sisters and the other children in the neighborhood.  they showed concern by asking us how are grades were, what were we learning, how are you doing, are you behaving yourself.  my community was filled with doctors, teachers, postal workers - all who saw to it that we were taken care of.  you could not turn the corner without knowing that there was someone who took interest in your life and who set you on the right track if you got off.  if they caught you doing something you had no business doing, they reprimanded you and then told your parents - and then your parents reprimanded you, too.  what i mean by reprimand is -- you got a whupping, sometimes.  other times you got that "look."    

even the corner, family-owed italian grocers guided and advised you on your wrong doings if they caught you doing something not in keeping with the correct character and values of the community and family.  they knew, respected, and admired my entire family - from my hard-working father to my dignified mother.  and they let me know it every time they saw me.  they would brag about how much respect and love they had for my parents.  i had to fill some pretty big shoes.  i have honored all these wonderful relationships because they have made me what i am today.  

however, many of today's children are missing this vital link of community and family.  they have no one to help guide them into adulthood; no one to listen to.  no one to show them opportunities, or broaden their horizons.  still, there are many adults who see the need for mentoring.  spending quality time, effort, money and other resources to guide, befriend children.  opening not only the child's world, but the child's family to a host of experiences beyond what they encounter in their daily lives.  

shirley chisholm, the first black woman to be elected to the us congress - and of course one of my mentors states, "service is the rent you pay for room on this earth."  i believe she was right.  mentoring is a fantastic way to give back to community - it's a two-way street.  you can learn from a mentee just as much as they learn from you.  you both grow in so many wonderful ways.  there is a joy that one experiences when investing in the future of young people.

are you now mentoring someone or have you ever been a mentor?

20 comments:

  1. I have been a mentor and it was very rewarding. Now I take care of my sick husband and my sick and aging mother. Along with keep lupus under control. I no longer have time.
    Thanks for all your comments. I would have loved to kick some bully butt for you. LOL
    Nicole/Beadwright

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  2. that wonderful. mentoring is so rewarding. and i believe that taking care of ailing family members can be just as rewarding as doing it for someone outside family and friends. i think everyone needs a kick-ass best friend. LOL! cheers!!

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  3. I freely give my good advice to one and all but not everyone appreciates it, LOL!

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    1. that was hilarious. cheers!!

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    2. It's fun to read comments. Some of them are sooo flippin' funny.

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  4. hahahaha. thats funny. i totally understand you. i dont know why everyone is upset - lol! cheers!!

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  5. Sadly, no, I have not been a mentor.

    And you're right about this statement: "service is the rent you pay for room on this earth." So true!

    It sounds like you had a great 'village' surrounding you when you grew up. Hence, I suspect it is the reason that you have become a decent human being. Can't say that about many people ...

    Cheers :)

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  6. wendy, its never too late. it doesnt have to be complicated. you probably have mentored someone before just didnt consider it mentoring. whenever you try to teach, console, help, guide you are mentoring. if you have children or young adults who live close by speak to them about what their dreams are. find out whats going on with them in their lives. you never know, you could be just the person they need to talk with. you can share how you overcame a problem or something. cheers!!

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  7. Terrific post! It sounds like you have a lot of good memories from your childhood.

    Yes, I've been a mentor for quite a few teenage girls. And you're right; it was every bit as wonderful for me as (I hope!) it was for them.

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    1. im sure it was susan. i find teenage girls nowadays - especially - need someone who can pass on to them a bit-o-wisdom regarding life. cheers!!

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  8. I have probably mentored someone at one time or another but I can't recall who it would be. Maybe my Daughter who had no choice in the matter.

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    1. hahahah. you are so right terry. not only do i believe that i mentor my own daughter, but she mentors me too. my mom was a great example of a mentor in my life. cheers!!

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  9. When my older daughter was a toddler, there was a little girl (lived just a few houses away) that was at my house regularly throughout the year, and almost daily throughout the summer. She'd come over and play with my daughter, and I spent a lot of time with the kids doing arts and crafts, and hanging out. I embraced that child, gave her advice about struggles she had at home, and tried to boost her confidence (she didn't have much). We moved out of that neighbourhood after a few short years, and I think about her all the time. She's probably a young lady right now in her mid twenties. And I hope life is good to her. I grew up in a very tight knit community. Sometimes too tight knit. But you always felt safe and part of a big family. And there was always someone to mentor you, and show they care.

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    1. what a wonderful story martha. im sure that that young lady is grateful for the encouragement, support and love you gave her. thanks for sharing that story. cheers!!

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  10. what an inspiration! you have great memories I have never been a mentor,

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    1. yes, i do have great many memories of a fun-filled childhood. teaching anyone, anywhere and anything - imho - constitutes mentoring. we have all given guidance to someone another at some time in our lives. and that includes you, laurie. thanks. cheers!!

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  11. Those are some very wise thoughts - it makes you think!
    Happy July!
    xo Catherine

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    1. makes you wanna go, hmmmmmm? happy july to you too catherine! cheers!!

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  12. Great quote by Shirley Chisholm. I have been a mentor twice and I don't think I will ever stop trying to be a mentor. I think it is an excellent way to give back and be an active part of your community.

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