A Mentor – is defined as “an experienced and trusted advisor”. If you are lucky, you will meet many mentors throughout your life; is it coincidence they show up when they do? I’ll leave that up for you to decide. A mentor is often older than you, but sometimes it is a peer with skills you admire.
It is by relating with others that we learn what we should and should not do. In many cultures, people will consult the elders. In our culture, not so much, yet we all acknowledge that life is a series of lessons, therefore elders should be regarded as wise. Some of these costly lessons could have been averted with a good mentor, and sometimes with a good lawyer. My mentors have been people older than me, men who speak their mind, unfiltered, letting you know what they think straight up, pointing what there is to gain or lose in any situation, and more importantly, when to let go or when to hang on. Somehow, just being in their presence seems to reassure me that the right decision will be made. So thank you Jean-Guy and Rolland for your wisdom and guidance.
One of these mentors introduced me to the book “Tuesdays with Morrie” by Mitch Albom. The true story of the author lies in the relationship with a college professor whom he admired 20 years ago. In a finite amount of time, they must share all their wisdom and say all that needs to be said. Read the book, it will enrich your lives.
That being said, you never know when someone is watching or listening. My sons, in their adult lives, have quoted things I said when they were growing up – when I wasn’t sure they were listening. I have had ex-students and clients thank me for things I have forgotten, because it made an impact on their lives. So try to be the best you can be, someone might be looking up to you. Take the time with your teens to tell them you like them just as they are, and remember, adolescence is quite the ride! Catch your child doing something good. Foster a talent in your child, if you simply put their drawing on the fridge or wall or ask them to repeat their story or joke in front of guest, you are possibly shaping their career and their passion. Eddy Murphy and Dave Chappelle talk about getting their first laugh and knew what they wanted to do for life. Can you imagine what we would have missed if Robin Williams was told to be quiet?
My mentors are now in their seventies, and we are clear that nothing is forever. All things come to an end except for memories, and with time, even they will fade. So be a mentor, make people feel significant, and most of all let them know they are! Sometimes a kind word, a compliment or a nudge in the right direction can make all the difference in someone life.