Friday, November 22, 2013

Article #270 Plant a Seed/Mentor

            In the frantic world that rushes around at break neck speeds, there is still a need to plant a seed in the thoughts of another individual whether they are friends, family or strangers. I love the opportunity to teach a class for a club, community education, my church or just to share a personal experience with a friend. Seeing the light go on in someone eyes as they understand a principle or truth that they can then apply to improve their life makes my day. Helping others progress is a challenge, and a blessing when it happens. 
            Unfortunately it’s usually easier to do this with individuals not in your own family. Not sure why that is, but complete strangers sometimes can grasp your meaning and apply it to their life more easily than those closest to you. Your own grown children are an example of this. Maybe you’ve spent too many years together as you tried to teach and rear them. Grandchildren or nieces/nephews are a fresh opportunity to try again to be an effective influence on their development. Hopefully you and their parents share the same lifestyle and values, then you can work as a team.
            What is a mentor? An adviser, counselor, guide, tutor or teacher usually older and more experienced who provides advice and support to and watches over and fosters the progress of a younger less experienced person. (Encarta World English Dictionary) In the past, youth generally young boys were apprenticed to a skilled person in the community to learn a trade: woodworking, carpentry, printing, etc. A youth would work daily under close supervision with his mentor to learn the basics of an occupation. Girls in those days learned from their mothers and grandmothers how to run a household which included: cooking, cleaning, rearing children as well as gardening, weaving, spinning, etc. Labor was more clearly divided in the past. Both girls and boys were being prepared for their ADULT roles which aren't as clear nowadays in our society. Expectations were clear and goals were set to achieve them.

We could use more mentoring today. Some modern youth get lost in the options available after high school graduation-if they graduate. College or technical training programs have multiplied in variety and subjects. All it takes is that spark of interest from the young person and encouragement from family and friends. Our youth could use more mentoring from loved ones or volunteers for organizations that work with teens. NEXT TIME: Too Many Options?


Sandy Carlson said...

This is a nice post. I think kids love to have older folks around, to be assured they belong in the big picture.

Kay said...

Our school district began a mentoring program for new teachers a few years before I retired and I think it was really helpful. When I started teaching I could have used a mentor. Young children would also benefit from having someone who could care for them and guide them through their young years.